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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss.Dakota Odumodu" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 12:42:49 +0100
Subject: PLEASE CAN YOU HELP ME? GOD BLESS YOU
I am a deaf girl the only Daughter of my late parents Mr. and Mrs.
A.Odumodu My father was a highly reputable business man(A COCOA
DEALER) who operated in the economic capital of (west African Island)
during his days.
I am a deaf girl. is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in
France during one of his business trips abroad year 12th.February
2015.Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have
been masterminded by an uncle of his who traveled with him at that
time. But God knows the truth! My mother died when I was just 6
yearsold, and since then my father took me so special.
Before his death on February 12, 2015 he called the secretary who
accompanied him to the hospital and told him that he has the sum of
US$48.500.000.(FORTY EIGHT MILLION, FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED
STATES DOLLARS) left in a security company .He further told him that
he deposited the money with my name,. I am a deaf girl just 25 years
old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do,
Now I want an account overseas where I can transfer this funds and
after the transaction I will come over and by your help I could settle
down and plan my future.
This is because I have suffered a lot of set backs as a result of
incessant political crisis here in west Africa. The death of my father
actually brought sorrow to my life. I am in a sincere desire of your
humble assistance in this regards, I wish to invest under your care
please. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded But permit
me to ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestlya help me as you would do to your own relation?
2. Can I completely trust you as a reliable person? .
3.What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you
after the money has been transferred into your account?
Moreover, while I continue with my education I will like to invest my
money into lucrative business but I need you to put me
through,Please,Consider this and get back to me as soon as possible,
Immediately I confirmed your willingness then I will tell you how we
will go about the transaction. Please contact me through my
alternative email address (email@example.com)
Miss Dakota Odumodu.