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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Samia Jamal" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 13:53:01 +0200
Subject: Your response i need
Pace unto you,
I shouldnât have done this but due to the circumstances surrounding me I decided to do this. I am sorry for my poor English, I am sorry to contact you in this manner but this the only way I can get your attention, I am a Syrian which my life has been affected by the war, I got your contact from the chambers of Commerce.
My name is Samia Jamal I am 19year the reason why I have contacted you is because I need your urgent help to save my little sister Leila life who is just 16years of age, during our escape out of Syria by the red cross my parent where killed and my sister Leila was shot at the back.
As I speak the doctor managed to remove part of the bullet out of her back and some are still inside Laila back affecting Laila spinal cord which the doctor said he does not have the facility so Laila has been put in an emergence state in the biggest hospital.
As we speak Laila life is at a critical point and I have no hope at all. The only place I can get money is where my father has place a Hugh deposited of money and other valuable at a security company and this I donât have access to because of my age, I would give you all document needed for you to assist me as my guidance to help me move this money and you help us use it for an investment that you think is profitable I shall give you details about this funds but first my sister life is at risk and I canât afford to lose her.
Please help me; please help me I beg of you, I shall tell you how you can send so I can help my sister.
I wait to hear from you Please