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:
- "dear friend" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Helga Isbaner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2018 14:14:47 +0300
Subject: Re: looking for a partner
I hope everything moves well with you and your family. I am happy to find
your address because I wanted to contact a serious person with whom I can
build a life changing project. Regrettably, my current situation has caused
me to lie on a hospital bed in recent months. worst, family and friends
have all given up and forget me, thinking that I'm already dead. My late
husband was a former CEO and senior foreman of a large real estate and oil
company, and so my relatives planned to separate me from my assets. My
husband and I were very fond of God because we lived as expatriates in
CÃ´te d'Ivoire for many years. He was such a phylantropist. Although
discouraged by my current situation, I felt encouraged as I sought the idea
of ??a trusted helper to work together to develop a project for the poor
and needy in your area where I once was.
I only hope that you are a warm listener and a child-loving friend;
because I have to share a very important topic of my life with you before
it's too late for me in this hospital.
I am a believer so I am not afraid to be open to you because I believe in
your honest answer. I can send you a picture of me, so that you can get to
know me better, then we can talk about the social project that I want to
achieve through you.
I hope to hear from you soon, be blessed,