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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "sir" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:25:26 -0800
Subject: From Mr Blanchard
Dear sir/madam ,
Greetings of the day.
My name is Mr Micheal Packer a Norwegian national. I'm a businessman in the oil and gas sector . I'm suffering from Kidney cancer and my life is numbered according to doctor's report.
I can't eat my eyes in delirious stage, literally i can't close my eyelid, very sad situation for me my cancer is spreading internally. Now that i am still alive and before i die, i am giving away some of my holdings or properties to people i know and those i don't know to be a part of this beneficiary.
I am making this direct contact to you in request of your assistance as an individual or company, who will use this money for the work of God Affair and Charity in your country, to enhance the life of the poor and less privileged families.
If you are interested and capable to hand this offer, please kindly contact me back so i will instruct and direct you to the bank on how to retrieve the funds in my name as next of kin.
Looking forward to hear from you.
Pray for my health
Thanks and Regards
Mr Micheal Packer