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 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)
- "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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" 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 (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Lovelin Vincent <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Lovelin Vincent <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 17:46:42 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Widow Mind Donation
I am Mrs.Lovelin Vincent, my spirit led me to write you this email. I am write you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart because of health condition as i am suffering from pancreatic cancer. My condition is really bad and it is quite obvious that i won't live more than Five months according to my doctor due to my Complicated health issues.
Based on this, I want to donate my money ($5.5 Million Dollars) Five Million five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars which i inherited from my late husband to a faithful and God fearing person who will use it as I will instruct hence I am contacting you.
It is my desire to see that this fund is used to any charity organization of your choice in your country and to be distributed among the charity organizations, orphanage homes,churches, Schools, supporting destitute aged men and women or whatever you may have in mind that will be to the benefit of the less fortunate in everything you will take 15% as compensation for your labor.
The disbursements should be made to charities such as orphanages, motherless babies homes and to humanitarian causes.
1. Can you handle this project?
2. Can I give you this trust ?
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your response immediately.I will wait to hear from you if you can handle this task with honesty.
Reply me only on this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks and Remain blessed in the Lord.
l remain yours sister in Christ.
Mrs Lovelin Vincent.