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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "MaryAnn LeeElizabeth" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 11 Jun 2018 03:53:40 +0700
Subject: *****SPAM***** Let Help The World Be Happy !!!
Good day, dear!
My name is MaryAnn LeeElizabeth ; Can I seek your consent to establish a charity foundation in my name? You may wonder how I got to know you and your information, and what informed my decision, you have no cause to worry about these questions,
I mean no harm. I am a dying woman without a child and I was diagnosed of cancer four years ago. In my present condition, life is without meaning to me and hope has since eluded me, each day I give my entire existence a thought, I feel over powered by gloom and despair, also saw nothing but death lurking around, All these are my reasons for deciding on using anything in my name for charity in which co-incidentally you have been favored as the beneficiary.
I shall be undergoing major operations in few days from now and I want to will my inheritance to you and to enable you set up the charity foundation to help the less-privileged. Reply via: email@example.com for more detailed information about me and the donation. Thanks and remain blessed.
Please copy my email and send me email do not clike on reply