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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Angelina Mayer" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 14 Aug 2017 16:22:24 -0700
Subject: My Last Wish From Mrs.Angelina Mayer
It is times such as this I value the taste of a 1966 Bas Almanac mint
grafted wine or a vacation to the Mediterranean just to take my mind off all
the heartaches & pains caused by years of conflict within my family. I will
get straight to the point so that I won't take much of your time. I am
suffering from pancreatic cancer and the medical team over here in London
are doing all they can to prolong my days on this earth. A tumor has grown
within my pancreas and my system is totally dysfunctional. I can't seem to
eat anymore, and my time is growing nearer as each day passes on. All my
life, I have been charitable with my families' wealth; not because I never
really worked for it but because I have always had the heart to give to the
less privileged so that the Lord can give back to me in his own way. My time
is short, I will not be able to continue this journey anymore but I want to
give you the responsibility when I am gone to take custody of my inheritance
and spread it across millions of charity homes worldwide. I know you would
be wondering why don't I contact the charities myself, but my experiences in
the past have made me learn that if you put all your eggs in one basket, it
would definitely get squashed. There is a need to spread the wealth around,
especially during an economic recession where access to capital is slow.
I will empower you fully but the decision is yours only to make. I need to
rest my fingers for a bit but I expect to hear from you, maybe sometime soon
because I can't predict my time anymore. The last of my money is the huge
cash deposit of ($22.7m). That I have with New hampshire Commercial Bank I want
you to help me collect this deposit and dispatched it to charity
organizations and let them know that it is I, Ms.Angelina Mayer, that is
making this generous donation. I am writing this from my laptop computer in
my hospital bed where I wait for my time to come.
You can reply via my Private Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
looking forward to hearing from you.