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:
- "cost of transfer" (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. )
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: <email@example.com> "(Mrs)PUNTIP SURATHIN"
Date: Sat, 12 Aug 2017 04:44:17 +0100
Subject: MAY GOD BLESS YOU??
My beloved in Christ,
I met your email address during the course of my research today, i decided to come to this medium because i believe that there are people like you who can help me to make a lot of differences in the life of the poor masses. I think i will start with a proper introduction of myself. I am Mrs. Puntip Surathin, served at Cathedral of Saint Michael Church-Thailand. I am 63 years old suffering from chronic urinary tract cancer. From all indications, my condition is really deteriorating and is quite obvious that i may not live more than four months after my surgery last week. My personal physician told me that I may not live for more than 4 months and I am so scared about it.
I have no child of mine since my spiritual obligation does not permit me to marry But through this wonderful Bible verses, Psalms 119:116.â¦.Uphold me according unto thy word, that I may live, and let me not be ashamed of my hope. Psalms 138: 7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou will revive me....psalms 41:1 Blessed is he that considered the poor, the Lord will deliver him in time of trouble. Two of my favorite verses: Philippians 2:27: For indeed he was sick nigh unto death, but God had mercy on him & that on him only, but on me also, less I should have sorrow upon sorrow.(I always say this in my mind)
So, I now decide to donate all my life savings, which turns out to be at the sum of $5,150,000.00USD . (Five million and one hundred and fifty thousand dollar) to you for humanitarian purposes by establishing a foundation in your country under my name, so as to immortalize my name.
This money is deposited in a reliable bank here in Bangkok Thailand; Presently, I have informed my Attorney, about my decision in WILLING this fund to you, you are to get back to me immediately if you are interested in carrying out this task, so that I will instruct you on how to get in contact with my attorney and my account officer. Lastly, I know I have never meet you, but in other to fulfill this which borders me most, i prayed and fasted with my spiritual adviser and choose your address and my mind tells me to inform you about this, It is also good to let you know that I shall bear the cost of transferring this fund to you, and I hope you act sincerely,
please get back to me immediately via my private email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the following information;
(1)YOUR FULL NAME:::::::::::::::::
(2)YOUR TELEPHONE AND FAX NUMBER::::::::::::::
(3)YOUR RESIDENT ADDRESS::::::::::::::
NOTE: I shall bear the cost of transferring this money to you; all i need is your sincerity. God bless you.