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:
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Moreno Garcia" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2009 03:44:19 +0100
Subject: From . Mr. Moreno Garcia.
From . Mr. Moreno Garcia.
Date: 07 - 10 - 2009.
My name is Mr. Moreno Garcia. I am from Portugal . I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself)but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it.
Now that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my immediate and extended family members as well as few close friends .I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have decided to give alms to charity organizations and those in Need, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have Distributed money to some charity organizations when I was well. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in United States, Asia, Middle East & Europe, they refused and kept the money to themselves.
Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them. The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of Twenty Million United States Dollars ($20, 000, 000.00) that I have with an Asset Management / Vaulting Company Abroad. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity organizations and use it to help those in Need.
N/B:Kindly note that 40% of this funds must go to victims of Natural Disasters in the world , 55% to other Charity Organizations around the World and 5% for your effort and time.
I cannot talk with you on the phone due to my health situation, as I am using my Lap Top Computer to communicate with you. You should respond to this e-mail if you are interested in carrying out this assignment on my behalf.
God be with you.
Mr. Moreno Garcia.