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 Esther Tagro <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Mrs Esther Tagro <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2017 03:00:31 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Greetings unto you dear chosen one,
Greetings unto you dear chosen one,
I know that this my suprise mail may come to you as a suprise for we have never met each other before. I want to make a short introduction of myself first before i disclose to you why i have made this contact with you" My name is Madam Esther Tagro, I am an ageing widow from kuwait nationality. I have been married with my late husband" Mr. Desire Tagro, He was the former prime minister to the ex-goverment of cote d'voire. He died in an election crises in 2010 and simce its death, I have been seriously ill and currently in a goverment hospital here in the capital of cote d'voire where i am now.
I makes this contact with you for a humanitarian and charity project i want to make through you and i need your sincerity to make this donation of $2.500.000 million dollars which i have projected for charity purpose. I will not go any more further in telling you the whole thing in detail untill i receive your response to my mail. All what i request from you is sincerity and good heart and i hopes hearing from you for more details and build of trust. while in your next reply to my mail dear, i will want you to tell me more of you and how you want us to go about the project.
Yours for charity