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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Paullettep Hiroko" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 6 Sep 2016 12:08:59 +0100
Subject: My Dear in Christ
My Dear in Christ
I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I Believe Everyone will die someday. My name is Mrs.Paullettep Hiroko I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer.
I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the Oman,Algeria and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore.
I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria and Pakistan,they refused and kept the money to themselves.Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them.The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of united state dollars $40,000,000.00 that I have with a finance/Security Company.
I will want you to dispatch it to charity organizations if only you will be sincere,God be with you.
Thank you for your anticipated co-operation.
Hoping to receive your response soonest.
Thanks and Remain blessed.
Yours sister in the Lord,