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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Ruphina Bruce " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 9 Oct 2018 11:21:58 +0100
Subject: HELLO MY DEAR;
My name is Mrs. Ruphina Bruce, I am 89 years old widow living in Malta island close to Italy, I am the Mother of late Mr. James Bruce my only son who was a minister of Aviation in my country Malta. My son James and his wife died 4 years ago in Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that crashed on the 8th of March 2014,please you can visit this link
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysia_Airlines_Flight_370 ) for more details of the plane crash that killed my son and his wife.My son James and his wife left behind their only 8 years old daughter whose name is Melina. Melina is my only grandchild and the only heir of my late son Mr. James Bruce.
My son James was not a billionaire but the little he left for his only daughter Melina before he passed on if it is well managed by a good business man or woman in the foreign land; I think my granddaughterâs future will be secured.
Sir/Ma, my utmost reason of writing you is because I need your urgent assistance, I want to send my granddaughter (Melina) to you so that she can live with you in your country, this is a very hard decision for me but my condition has forced me to do this which i must do urgently because the doctor said i have little time to live due to the Cancer disease i am currently battling with, my granddaughter (Melina) is very young but rich and lonely,i am the only family she's got ever since she lost her parents, but now i am very old and weak and if anything happens to me she does not know what to do or where to go, this is why i am asking you if you can adopt her and take care of her like your own child.
please do not worry about the cost of securing Melinaâs traveling document and her welfare because Melina is Rich, Melinaâs father had deposited the sum of $21 million usd in Universal bank for Melina and instructed me to handle the online login to the account to Melina when she turns 18, But since i do not have much time to live due to old age and my poor health condition i therefore seek your assistance and honesty to help me adopt melina to take good care of her and handle the funds for her.
With the online account login details which i will hand over to you will enable you transfer the fund from the account to any other bank account of your choice,Please I want you to use part of this money for Melina upbring and her education, then invest the other part in a good business and most importantly, I want you to take good care of Melina, give her all the support and love she needs.
Sir/Ma, I am writing you because I am very old and weak now, I canât walk or even see clearly, what you are reading now was writing by my house help âJonnyâ with my instruction, so please do not get me wrong because I canât even see the letters on the computer keyboard let alone type a word. I do not speak English, I speak Maltese so everything here is translated
As soon as I hear a positive response from you, I will release the online bank account details to you to enable you withdraw the required fund to arrange for my granddaughters trip to meet you in your country. .
My greetings to you and your family
Mrs. Ruphina Bruce.