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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Millie Williams <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Millie Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2019 09:50:17 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Kindly get back to me
Hello Good Morning,I am very sorry for this sudden contact. I got your email address through an online directory and I am contacting you personally because I seriously needed your help. My name is Miss Millie Williams. I am 19 years old girl and the only daughter of my parents whom where both assassinated during the political crises in my country Ivory Coast. My father worked for many years in an oil drilling company and he deposited some money (5,500,000.00 Euros) with my name in his bank before he died and I want you to help me transfer this money to your own bank account in your country and also help me come to your country to continue my education. This is because after the death of my parents, my wicked uncle wants to kill me and collect my inheritance money from me because I have no one to defend me. I have reported my uncle to the local police here in my country, but nothing has been done since then. I am writing this mail from a local hotel where I am presently hiding for my safety. I am willing to offer you 20% of the money as compensation for your help after the transfer. Please reply me urgently so that I will send you more detailsâ¦Millie