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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Angela Lopez" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2017 21:12:48 +0200
Subject: Dearest Believe Please Read
I am Angela Lopez deaf from USA, .I was married to late Engr. John Lozada
It's my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to
establish in your country,Please accept my apologies for the
inconveniences of any sort this email May cost you.Though I have not met
with you before but I believe one has to risk, confiding in someone to
succeed sometimes in life.
There is this huge amount of money United State Dollars
(USD$20,000.000.00) which I inherit from my late Husband before he was
assassinated by rebel force of the Government of our country on his
returning from a business trip.Now i decided to invest these money in your
country or any where safe enough outside country for security purposes
since i did not have any child with my husband before his death.I want you
to help me to transfer this fund into your country for investment purposes
also some part of the money will be use for the help of charity and
widow's in your area.If you can be of an assistance to me I will be
pleased to offer you 20% Of the total fund.
Thank you and God bless you.Extend my warmest regards to your family
I await your soonest response.