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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Samira Abadi" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2019 11:54:14 -0700
Subject: Dear Friend,
My name is Mrs. Samira Abadi from Aleppo, Syria.
I and my only surviving son have intention of moving over to your country due to the war here since my husband and other 4 children were killed by chemical bomb. My husband before his demise has prepared for us all to leave to the USA. But he couldn’t fulfill this desire before his demise. We have a lot of assets to help my son and I move on, but first we have to get a trusted person to assist us in moving some of our family valuables to safety and for investment.
Please can you assist as I will give you full details upon your response and most importantly keep this communication confidential as my life is under serious threat. The person we hoped to help us tried to betray us to the Government side before I managed to escape with my son to the city of Raqqa where I am currently keeping a low profile with my son.
Finally, I will wait to hear from you and ASAP. May almighty God bless you as you consider helping a widow like me.