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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million united states 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. Gladys Nnem" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2016 08:43:08 +0200
Subject: Kind Reminder to your urgent attention
My name is Mrs. Gladys Nnem I am a dying woman who have several industrial companies and good shares in various banks. I spend all my life on investment and corporate business believing that it is what
Matters in life but I never knew that without good health, life is worthless no matter how much you have. Nevertheless, I lost my husband and two beautiful kids in fatal accident that occurred in November 5th
I am 63 years old and an aunt to the slammed president of Libya Muammar Gaddafi who was killed along with his family during the uprising in Libya. I was diagnosed of lung cancer for about 6 years ago after the death of my husband, who left with me everything he worked for and because it was well managed, I was able to be alive till date. Right now the Doctor testifies that it cannot be manage again and I should put myself in order because death might come any time from now. I quickly call up my spiritual leader to give me positive thinking on this solution, as my adviser. He ministered to me to share my wealth, to orphanage homes/people that need money for survival both students and hospitals.
And before the killing of my Nephew Muammar Gaddafi, he deposited a huge amount of money Eighteen million United States dollars on my name in the Republic of South Africa and I am the only person aware of this deposit. I have been touched to donate this inheritance from my late nephew to you for good work and building of hospitals and orphanage homes. Based on this I have sent to the finance house where the fund is currently deposited a letter of instruction to transfer Right of the fund Eighteen Million United States Dollars to you and the finance house have created a deposit secured cold for me instructing me to give the code to any one that I wish to come for the claim of the funds and they will transfer the money to the person.
Based on the above and your willingness to assist I have decided that the above money will be shared on the following ratio:-
20% of the fund will go to you,
10% will be set aside in case of any unforeseen expenses that might be incurred during the course of the transfer.
70% will be for Hospitals, orphanage homes and People in needs.
If you are ready to help me achieve my dreams of building health centers and orphanage homes no matter how small it may be, get back to me as soon as possible with your:-
1. Your name.......................................................
2. Physical address...............................................
5. Phone number (House and Mobile).....................
I will forward these details to the Security and finance house and also forward to you their details and security deposit code for the claim of the fund.
I wish you all the best as I look forward to your response soon.
Mrs. Gladys Nnem
Note: Should in case you don't receive any further correspondence from me after this mail due to my present condition, please kindly drop a voice or text message on this telephone no 0027638742074 and Michael Seleke who is my family financial adviser will contact you and also guide you.