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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Madam Rita Osborne" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 19 Jan 2017 15:28:22 +0200
Subject: Dearly Beloved
Here writes Madam Rita Osborne, suffering from cancerous ailment. I am
married to Sir Williams Osborne an English man who is dead.When my late
husband was alive he deposited the sum of 10,000.000.00 (Ten Million Euro)
which were derived from his vast estates
I have decided to donate this fund to you, I do hope you would be able
to utilize this money for the said purpose just as I am going to instruct
herein.I want you to utilize the funds by creating a charity foundation called
WILLIAM OSBORNE FOUNDATION to assist widows and help accident victims
worldwide.Contact our family lawyer with this specified email address
Barrister.Mrs Karlina Herman(ESQ)
Tell her that I have WILLED Ten Million Eur to you by quoting
my personal reference number-Law/chamber/solicitor/rt/osb/WILL/78bwf5200B
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