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:
- "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: "Wanger Lawrence" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 31 Jul 2016 10:10:11 -0700
Subject: RE: Email 30 / 07 / 2016
I am writing this email to you in line with the dictates of my spirit. this is a personal email directed to you and I request that it should be treated as such. I am quite aware of your background hence my contacting you. I am Wanger Lawrence the legal adviser to late Mrs.Anna Helma, a God fearing and dedicated woman, whom I am so proud to have served, before her death, Mrs Helma informed me of her desire to give out her wealth for Godly causes, however before all these could be finalized, she passed away.
As her legal adviser and in line with her instructions, I am to distribute her wealth for the propagation of God's work. It is my responsibility as the inaugural trustee to present someone whom the fund will be handed over to. This is a very immense responsibility but I have relied in God for direction. The said fund is contained in a Trust Fund set up by Late Anna Helma, the Anna Helma Trust Fund which was set up in July 2012, I am under obligation to present someone with proven integrity who will use the fund to fulfill the wishes of Late Mrs Helma. It is based on this I contacted you.
I look forward to your response and may God guide you as you make up your mind.
In her service
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