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:
- ",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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Alice Miller" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 05 Sep 2017 07:53:18 -0400
Subject: [SPAM]Hope to hear from you soon.
Greetings to you,
I am Mrs. Alice Miller, 80yrs old, I was married to Dr. Richard Miller, who worked with National Iranian South oil company (NISOC) for twenty three years before he died in the year 2006, May be you must have heard about him in the oil firm. We were married for thirty-seven years without a child. He died during one of the war in Iran. He was held hostage and slain to death by protesting youths of the region.
Before his death we were both devoted Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum USD$8,000,000.00 (Eight Million U.S. Dollars) with a bank here in New York, United States. Presently, this money is still with the bank and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come over.
Presently, Iâm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only less than (2) two months to live.It is my last wish to see that this money is invested wisely and at the end of every year funds are distributed among charity organization. I want a reliable and honest person that will use this money to reach to the motherless and also less privileges, to reach to the Atlantic hurricane, the sick that has no body to take care of them, the poor and widows and to set up a Cancer research and also help the victims of earthquake in Asia.
If you are willing and honest enough to do my wishes, as soon as I receive your reply I shall direct you to the bank management for details of the transaction and guide you through the process. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary of this fund. You are to help me invest this fund into real estate and stocks. You will be entitled to 20% of every profit you make in a year. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated therein.Please do all things possible to make my wish come through.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Mother. Alice Miller
New York, United States of America
Please contact me only on this Email: firstname.lastname@example.org