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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: leen mary <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 13 Jan 2019 23:00:17 -0800
Subject: kindly reply immediately
How are you? i hope you are fine and in good health. May my email proposal
meet you in good faith. I am Rev sister Mary Leen, I am writing to know if
you will help me retrieve my brothers fund and invest in your country. My
brother Mr Alex Leen former minister of petroleum is been prosecuted
politically in my country and now sent to prison for no just cause after
the court ordered them to release him on bail to no avail. His bank
accounts have been frozen and most of his assets confiscated. His only hope
is the sum of US$5.5M dollars deposited in a security and finance company.
He instructed me to look for a honest and sincere person that will help him
retrieve and receive the fund for investment purpose in your country and he
is willing to give you %10 of the $5.5 million dollars for your help. If
you are interested, kindly reply immediately
Rev Sister Mary Leen