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:
- "million dollars" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (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: Esther Severin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: " Esther Severin" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Jul 2016 18:08:29 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: MY DONATION FOR YOU ,
MY DONATION FOR YOU ,
I am Mrs Esther SÃ©verin I am 50 years old . an aging widow suffering from long time illness. i am currently admitted in a hospital here in Abidjan cote d' Ivore, I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr.Tom SÃ©verin The amount of ($5million dollars USD) which he deposited in one of the clearing house Here in cote d'ivore and I need a honest and God fearing person who have the feelings of human that can use this funds for God's work and 15% out of the total funds will be for your compasation for doing this work of God. I saw your email from internet and decided to contact you. Please if you would be able to use these funds for the Lord's work kindly reply to me.
May the Grace of our Lord the love of God and the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and your family's Amen. Nurse help me to write this email.
Your Sister In The Lord.
Mrs Esther SÃ©verin