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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Katherine Pascal <test@FCL.local>
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2016 22:13:38 -0700
Subject: *** SPAM ***Accept my gift for humanity.
I am Mrs Katherine Pascal. an aging widow suffering from Cancer illness.
I have some funds Which I have inherited from my late husband, the sum
of ($10.9 Million Dollars) And I needed a very honest and sincere
Individual or co-operate organization that will use the fund for work of
I found your email address from the Human resources data base and
decided to contact you. Please if you would be able to use the funds for
the work of humanity as I have stated here in order to fulfill my late
husband wishes please, kindly reply me back immediately
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.
L'absence de virus dans ce courrier Ã©lectronique a Ã©tÃ© vÃ©rifiÃ©e par le logiciel antivirus Avast.