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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- ",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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Christy Walton" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Aug 2017 14:42:32 +0100
Greetings to you, I am writing you this e-mail not to disturb you but to
ask for your assistant based on my personality and my present health status
in life and in particular what I intend doing for CHARITY.
I am Mrs. Christy Walton a citizen of United State of America, am bring to
you a business proposal which I want you to assist me with, I worth $22.5
Billion Dollars which rated me as the 2nd Richest Woman in the World, the
funds which I inherited from my late husband Mr. John T. Walton after his
death in a plane crash.
As the going says Money is not everything on earth, is painful now to let
the world now know my present condition as a cry for help. I have been
suffering from a Heart Cancer for the passed 22 years, now just few weeks
ago my Doctors in America just told me now that is time for me to die, but
nobody is aware about the 40% of the funds which is $9,000,000,000 (Nine
Billion United State Dollars), of which I intend to transfer for Charity
I want you to help me carry out this processes from your end by
distributing the funds to CHARITY (less privilege) or opening a Charity
Foundation, this is because have not seen anybody from my Family, Relations
and Friends which I can trust to help me out, because I always have this
DREAM to help CHARITY and I have always promise myself that I must do this
very big at my end time to CHARITY, can I please trust you to help me give
to CHARITY this huge amount of Money? because I have just 2 Months left to
die and am in the intensive care unit of the Liverpool Hospital in UK, as I
write to you now am full of tears as I await my death.
Please reply me back with your below details to enable us proceed further
and please keep this confidential.
1. Full Name: ....................
2. Telephone Numbers: ....................
3. Your Sex: ....................
4. Your Occupation: ....................
5. Your Country: ....................
6. Marital Status: ....................
Reply to email@example.com
God Bless You.
Mrs. Christy Walton.