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 beloved," (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: "Christy Walton" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 May 2018 05:57:11 +0300
Greetings to you! I am Mrs. Christy Walton, a citizen of the United States of America. I bring to you a
proposal worth the sum ($2,085,000000.00 USD) which I intend to use for a humanitarian project. I am happy
to know you, I have never doubted my instinct as it has never failed me, even as it has directed me to you at
this point in time so do not be afraid. I saw your e-mail contact at the department of commerce and foreign
trade. I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart, it's painful to let you know that I have
been suffering from esophageal cancer and a rare heart disease for the past 6 years and just a few weeks
ago my Doctor told me that I won't survive the illness. I am contacting you because I don't have any other
option but to open up to you about my project at hand. Please get back to me by providing me with your
personal information so I can provide you with further details.
Please treat this information as strictly confidential.
I await your response.
God bless you.
Mrs. Christy Walton