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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms Angela Benjamin" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 23 Apr 2017 14:21:18 +0200
I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I Believe Everyone will die someday. My name is Mrs. Angela Benjamin ,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, Yemen and Syria. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore.
I once asked members of my husband 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 $3,243,728.00 US Dollars ( Three Million, Two Hundred and Forty Three Thousand, Seven Hundred and Twenty Eight United States Dollars) which is been deposited with a bank
I will want you to dispatch it to charity organizations if only you will be sincere. Get back to me if you are interested in carrying out this task, so that he can arrange the release of the funds to you.
Mrs. Angela Benjamin