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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Harry Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Harry Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 05:38:38 +0900 (JST)
Subject: good evening dearest
Please I am writing this mail with tears and
sorrow to seek for your assistance regards to my situation since the
death of my parents. My name is Harry Paul Williams; I am 16 years old,
originated from Benghazi - Libya, North Africa. My late Father who was
shot death by Islamist-linked militia within the anti-Gaddafi forces on
28th July, 2011, the brutal killing of my mother and my only kid sister
took place a week after the dead of my father.
I am now writing
to seek for your assistance from Cote D$B!G(Blvoire. I managed to escaped
through the help of the United Nation Staffs, and now seeking asylum in
Refugee Camp here in Cote D$B!G(Blvoire. Meanwhile, the main reason why I am
seeking for your assistance is because of some money my late parent
deposited in one of the banks here in Cote D$B!G(Blvoire, which I am the next
My Father made a fixed deposit of One Million Eight Hundred
Thousand Dollar ($1.8M). I need you to stand as my trustee so that the
money will be transfer to you. You will get 20% of the money as your
I will send more details to you as soon as I receive your response.
Master Harry Williams.