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:
- "% will be for you" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS THANH BACH CAO" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2018 10:32:25 -0700
Subject: HOW ARE YOU DOING TODAY
I am writing this mail to you with tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, it's true we do not know one another but My spirit led me to write to you. I am Mrs. Bach Cao, I was born as orphan I am 63 years, suffering from long time Cancer of the breast. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't live more than 2 months according to my doctors. I have some funds I made from my gold/diamond,(US$5M) I need an honest and sincere Individual or a cooperate organization that will use the fund for work of humanity, I have donated money to some charity organizations Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore due to my present health is getting worse.last of my money, which no one knows of is US$5m kept in a Financial Insti for future use before I found myself in this illness. I want you to receive this fund on my behalf now that I am still alive and disburse 60% of it to Charity Homes, and widows. Rema
ining 40% will be for you