fighting spam and scams on the Internet
"419" Scam – Advance Fee / Fake Lottery Scam
The so-called "419" scam is a type of fraud dominated by criminals from Nigeria and other countries in Africa. Victims of the scam are promised a large amount of money, such as a lottery prize, inheritance, money sitting in some bank account, etc.
Victims never receive this non-existent fortune but are tricked into sending their money to the criminals, who remain anonymous. They hide their real identity and location by using fake names and fake postal addresses as well as communicating via anonymous free email accounts and mobile phones.
Keep in mind that scammers DO NOT use their real names when defrauding people.
The criminals either abuse names of real people or companies or invent names or addresses.
Any real people or companies mentioned below have NO CONNECTION to the scammers!
Read more about such scams here or in our 419 FAQ. Use the Scam-O-Matic to verify suspect emails.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- This email uses a separate reply address that is different from the sender address. Spammers use this to get replies even when the original spam sending accounts have been shut down. Also, sometimes the sender addresses are legitimate looking but fake and only the reply address is actually an email account controlled by the scammers.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "00,000.00" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Damaris Malusy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Jun 2016 23:35:34 +0200
Subject: Devine offer for less privileged.
Greetings in the name of the LORD Almighty the giver of every good thing. I know this proposal will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take your time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go a long way to determine my future.
I am Mrs. Damaris Malusy, an ageing widow of 78 years old suffering from long time illness breast Cancer and Cancer of the lungs. I have some funds which I inherited from my late husband, the sum of USD $5,400,000.00 and I needed a very honest and God fearing person who can withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works.
I WISH TO ENTRUST THIS FUND TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS. I found your email address from the internet after honest prayers to the LORD to bring me HONEST PERSON I CAN CONFIDE ON, and I decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in good faith. I am desperately in keen need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to
contact you for this task, you must not fail me.
This is not stolen money and there are no dangers involved. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Charity works please kindly let me know immediately. Please kindly respond quickly for further details if you can handle this task.
Please if you would be able to use these funds for the lord's workâs mentioned above, kindly reply me as soon as possible for more details. Please always pray for me.