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:
- "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: "Mrs. Jacquelyn Sumner" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Feb 2017 20:17:46 +0200
Here writes Mrs. Jacquelyn Sumner, suffering from cancerous ailment. I was married to Sir Steve Sumner an English man who is dead. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 8.9 Million Euro which were derived from his vast estates.
The intention of this email is to seek for a charitable-minded individual, who can identify a viable and guarantee reasonable distribution of my wealth to the needy. Therefore, 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 STEVE SUMNER FOUNDATION to assist widows and help accident victims worldwide.
You are to contact our family lawyer with this specified email address below
Attorney Mr. Adam Nathan (ESQ)
Tell him that I have WILLED Ten Million Euro to you by quoting my personal reference number-Law/chamber/solicitor/AD/NN/WILL/71bwf1600W
Mrs. Jacquelyn Sumner