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:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Carlson Astorri" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 5 Mar 2017 23:58:14 +0100
Subject: Re: Estate of Engr. Terry Williams.
Estate of Engr. Terry Williams.
I wish to notify you that you were listed as a beneficiary to the bequest of the sum of US$7.6M [Seven Million Six Hundred Thousand US Dollars] in the codicil and last testament of the deceased. The late Terry Williams until his death was a former Managing Director and pioneer staff of a big construction company in China and later invested in poultry farm and rice.
He established himself as a wealthy farmer in Asia where he exported rice and other poultry produce. He was a very dedicated man and a great philanthropist during his lifetime. He involved himself in helping people by giving invest able loans in agriculture and health care ventures. Late Terry Williams died on 9th March 2007 at the age of 78. He has since been buried on the 23rd of March 2007. He was a US citizen, lived in Asia all through his active years but later moved down to London UK due to long-term illness where he died in a specialist hospital. He was married but without a child and lost his wife in 1986 due to breast cancer.
He said in his words as stated in his last testament that "it is my desired wish to see that the poor and less privileged are given assistance by any means and limit this token could go, especially in Asia, Africa and South America having seen it all myself". He therefore advised that this amount be "invested and 40% of the proceeds be used for charity annually, while 60% be retained by the beneficiary for his efforts".
I hereby request that you reconfirm the information below for proper identification of your person
(1) Your Full name as you want it to appear
(2) Your current telephone/ cell phone numbers
(3) Your correct forwarding address
Please note that this is for real, as we will take care of any expenses.
Estate of Terry Williams