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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Rebecca Gross <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Rebecca Gross <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 01:58:35 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Miss Rebecca Gross
Thanks for your attention and I pray that my decision to contact you will be given genuine approval. My name is Miss Rebecca Gross and i humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in the transfer and investment of my inheritance funds $10,500,000.00 from my late father who died mysteriously.
My late father was poisoned to death by my wicked uncle during his visit to south Africa where he has his cocoa and coffee company. I am the only child and daughter of my parents and I lost my mother when I was barely a year. After the death of my mother, my father refused to re-marry another wife despite all persuasion by friends and relatives, because he felt solely responsible for my mother's death, as he only concentrated on his business affairs without paying attention to domestic/family affairs.
But he ensured that I had everything that I wanted. It was as a result of this that he made me the next of kin t o his fund deposit of $10,500,000.00 he made in a bank so that I should have a direct access to the funds if some thing happens to him.
Moreover, i am willing to offer you 20% of the total sum as compensation for your effort/ input after the successful transfer of this fund into your nominated account overseas. Furthermore, you indicate your options towards assisting me as I believe that this transaction would be concluded within four days you signify interest to assist me.
In conclusion, I will want us to make an offer of te n percent of the total money to orphans and less previllage ones in your country.
Your urgent response will be appreciated.