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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Teresa Harris" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 03:36:15 -0700
Greetings and God Bless You,
With due Respect and Humanity I write to donate and hand over this fund to you for orphanages and widows / less privileged and propagate the gospel of God(US$6.5M)Six million five hundred thousand dollars deposited in a security firm in Cote d'Ivoire by my late husband. I, Mrs. Teresa Harris, 68 years old without a child, married to late Engr.Gabriel Harris who worked with Oil Company (PETROCI) Cote d'Ivoire before he died after a Cardiac Arteries Operation. Presently I am hospitalized and my doctor said I will not last for four months due to Colon Cancer, I hereby request you to send your full name, telephone and fax number with your resident address for documentation process to transfer the fund to you without any hindrance to accomplish our vow to God.
Thanks and always remember me in your prayers.
God bless us
Mrs. Teresa Harris