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 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Ana Harry" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2017 17:09:38 +0000
With your permission I want to present to you my sincere initiatives
In the spirit of faith, solidarity, humanity and common sense appeal
to your wisdom and kindness as a human of this planet with the request
friendship sustains me if you consider setting up a foundation for
humanitarian work with 15million American United States dollars
inherited from my late husband who was an industrialist.
I decided to donate these funds because I have no child and my days
are numbered according to my physician who always examines my health
because I was diagnosed by serious lung and breast cancer and will be
going for my third surgical operation next week, I want you to use
these funds nationally and internationally to people without hope,
against which we must not be careless.
I am Mrs. Anna Harry Aged 62, and childless, always cheerful with
a desire to do good and give those who need help. The principles which
I rely in life are faith, humanity, solidarity, respect and trust.
Please always put me in your daily prayers so that God will grant more
days to my leaving and confirm these funds into your hand.
Hoping to hearing from you soonest with your information that I will
submit to the bank for the transfer of this money to your account and
your delays in replying to this message will create an avenue of
searching for another person that will understand the nature of my
situation in other to handle this donation funds gloriously to the
Kingdom of God.
I am urgently expecting your kind acceptance reply in this email
address for more details (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Remain blessed with your family.
Mrs. Ana Harry