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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Ann Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Mrs Ann Johnson <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Aug 2014 02:20:36 +0200 (CEST)
My name is Mrs.Ann Johnson from Uk.I am a dying woman who had decided to donate what I have to you. I am 59 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago,immediately after the death of my husband, who had left me with every thing he worked for me.I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for the good work of God,rather than allow my relatives to use my husbandâs hard earned funds ungodly.I will be going in for an operation,and i pray that i survive the operation. I have decided to WILL/donate the sum of $9,500,000(Nine million five hundred thousand dollars) to you for the good work of the lord,and to help the motherless,less privileged and also for the assistance of the widows.Upon receipt of your email and your full contact details(Full name,address,country and Tel) to facilitate the funds disbursement process to you by my bank,i will instruct my bank to send the funds to you with out any delay.