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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Yasmin Ibrahim" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Apr 2017 17:22:09 +0100
Subject: Dear Friend
Dear Friend, My name is Mrs.Yasmin Ibrahim am 68yrs old of age I am a dying woman who have decided
to donate what I have to you.I lost my husband and two beautiful kids in fatal accident that occur in
April 13th 2012.I am a very greedy woman with all cost I dont know much and care about people, since when
I have an experience of mine, it difficult to sleep and give rest. Later in the year 2014 February I was sent a
letter of medical check up, as my personal Doctor testify that I have a lung cancer, which can easily take off
my life soon. I found it uneasy to survive myself, because a lot of investment cannot be run and manage by me
again. I was touched by God through to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for
the good work of God , motherless baby orphanage homes/both student that need money business woman and
man for their Especially women of the day, who are divorced by their husband, why they cannot survive the
mist of feeding their self, rather than allow my relatives to use my husband hard earned funds ungodly.
investment and for future rising.the sum of Six million,Pounds. GBP(£6,000,000.00) i really do need someone
i can trust and who is also from a Religious background, so can i trust you? I needed someone that I can
trust with a charity work.I have been badly treated by close associates. I have put it in my mind to give out
the rest of my Money to Charity, I don't trust all the Monks here after the Gay scandal. I want you to
Distribute these Funds to people that need it. if interested kindly get back to me
via my email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) I will wait to hear for your Response before
I go ahead and inform my Lawyer about my intention
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