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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Lady Rebecca Thatcher<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 08 Apr 2017 04:06:03 +0100
Subject: IT IS YOUR CALLING
From: Lady Rebecca Thatcher.
No:38-41 Old Church Street, Manchester,
Beloved,i am Lady Rebecca Thatcher, suffering from cancerous ailment. I was married to Sir Jeremy Thatcher an English shipping tycoon notable for his great wealth, influential extended family, and charitable activities all his life before his death.My husband died after a protracted illness in April 2nd, 2006.Our life together as husband and wife lasted for about six decades without a child.My late husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals in the society, as we both had passion for those people who can not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament. I can adduce this to the fact that we both needed a Child from this relationship, which never came.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Twenty Million Pounds Sterling(20,000,000.00 GBP) which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank here in UK and named me as the beneficiary of this trust fund.(all records are kept with my family lawyer).
Presently, this money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live, due to the cancerous problems that i have been suffering from. Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition with the cancer. Hence, With this hard reality that has befallen my family and me, I have decided to donate this fund to you and i want you to use this gift which comes from my Late husbands effort to establish a charity home called "Thatcher Charity Foundation" for the upkeep of the down-trodden and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are bourgeois are very waealthy persons and I do not want my husband's hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures. Also i do not want a situation where this funds will be used in a worldly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision.
I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my husband relatives around me, as i am currently bedridden in the Family house here in 38-41 Old Church Street, Manchester and do not receive any visitors unless approved by Talmund Thatcher who is the immediate younger brother to my late husband.I do not want them to know about this development in order to safegurad this bequeast.So, i want you to Contact my family lawyer Barrister Matthew penny. (ESQ) with this specified email address: email@example.com and Tell him that I have WILLED the Â£20,000,000 to you by quoting my personal reference number Law/chamber/solicitors/rt/cfd/WILL/9834520012, as I have earlier notified him that I will be WILLING the funds to you for a specific purpose and good work.My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation, and i want you to be kindhearted all through your life.Please, assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. as i hope to hear from you soon that you have contacted my family lawyer with the email address that i have given to you above, as he is presently waiting to receive your reply.
Lady Rebecca Thatcher.