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)
- "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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "remain blessed" (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:
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2016 05:51:16 +0200
Subject: Hello my beloved in the Lord.
Good day Dear friend, First and foremost, I apologize using this medium to =
reach you for a transaction of this magnitude. My Name is Mrs. Wendy Jane W=
illiams I am 75 years old base in South Africa. I write to Relate to you of=
my intention to use my money 20.5 million dollars for charity work in your=
country. I was married to Late McCauley Scott Williams who was a contracto=
r with the Government of South Africa before he died for plane crashed in 2=
000 in Kenya airways. I am a new Christian convert, suffering from long tim=
e cancer of the breast. All indication from my doctor that my conditions is=
really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I wouldn=92t live more t=
han three months, according to my doctors and in all indication regards to =
medical analysis. This is because the cancer disease has gotten to a very b=
ad stage that no hope for me to be a living person again.40 years period of=
marriage life, still we could not produce any child, my late husband was v=
ery wealthy and after his death, I inherited some part of his business and =
money in the bank. The doctors has advised me that I may not live for more =
than Three months and 2 weeks and warn me to stop thinking over who is goin=
g to inherit my money, today I have decided to donate contribute to the les=
s privileges, charity and orphanage homes. I want to know if I can trust yo=
u to use these funds for charity / orphanage and 30% will be for you as com=
pensation. Please contact me, so that I will give you more details. Please =
further discussion contact me with my Email Address: jjaneewewilliams@gmail=
.com I await urgent reply. Remain blessed Mrs. Wendy Jane Williams