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:
- ",000,000" (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: "Bill Gates"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 28 Jun 2019 01:50:27 +0530
Greetings you have been gifted $10 MILLION USD From Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
I BILL GATES and my wife (Melinda Gates) decided to donate the sum of $10,000,000,00 USD to you as part of our charity project to improve the 10 lucky individuals all over the world from our $65 Billion USD I and My Wife Mapped out to help people. We prayed, searched over the internet for assistance and I saw your profile on Microsoft email owners list and picked you. Melinda my wife and I have decided to make sure this is put on the internet for the world to see, as you could see from the webpage above, Iâm not getting any younger and you can imagine having no much time to live. Although Iâm a Billionaire investor and we have helped some charity organizations from our Fund. our information below is 100% legitimate and please see the link below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation
Your full names.................
Your contact address................
Your personal telephone number...............
SEND YOUR ABOVE DETAILS TO my Email: email@example.com
Hide original message
Mr. Bill Gates.