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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Susan Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 04:30:03 -0700
Subject: Re: Writing from Sick Bed
Greetings Dear Helper,
I am Ms Susan Williams your friend an Oil & Gas/Gold Dealer. I have been
diagnosed of a complex case of ovarian cancer that has spread into my pelvic
cavity, consequently, is due for surgery as the only cure by my doctors.
I decided to donate my estate worth of $27,500,000.00 Plus 105 Gold Bars
to any individual or organization that is willing using it for the benefit
of the poor and less privileged in the society.
I have to say all my live I have never been married due to an encounter I
had with my uncle concerning raping me and has made me to be afraid of the
male counterparts that lead to my decision not to marry.
Please let me know if you are interested to receive these funds by getting
back to me immediately to enable me forward the contact information`s of
Pastor Williams Harrison for more details on how to proceed.
Ms. Susan Williams.
Writing from Sick Bed