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.
- 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: "Mr. BRYAN SMITH" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 06 Nov 2017 01:01:19 +0100
My Beloved Friend
Greeting to you and May God Bless You Abundantly.
I am in need of your assistance but I do not know how trustworthy you are; I want to make a donation to the poor and needy through you. My name is Mr. Bryan Smith and I am an American citizen but I live here in London.
Right now, I am in the hospital and I have been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer. Please, do not consider this mail as one of those illegal/ fraudulent mails you receive on the internet but this is reality as a matter of fact.
I have since lost my ability to talk and my Doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live and I am very much worried about my health condition which is getting bad day by day. But I know that my redeemer liveth, he is a merciful God and he can decide to keep me longer than expected.
Before I became ill, I kept US$ 7.5 Million in a long-term deposit account in a finance company in London which I wanted to invest into long term business venture. Now that it has become obviously clear that I will not survive this cancer sickness, it is really unfortunate that I have to end my life so short.
However, I have decided that I must give my wealth to the poor and needy just for assistance. If you can be trusted, I will like to leave the funds under your care so that you can utilize it by taking care of those in dare need of help. It will be a kind of donation/inheritance fund to you and be assured that all legal court documents will be made available to you
Mostly, if you can donate to motherless, widows, less privileged and hurricane victims, I will highly appreciate it.
Please, kindly reply to me urgently by providing me with the following information:
(1) Your full name
(2) Your Address
(3) Your Age
(4) Your occupation,
(5) Your religion,
(6) Your direct telephone/ Cell phone number
This is in order for me to give you more accurate information.
I will continue to pray about it until I hear from you. Be rest assured that all legal documents relating to the deposit of the funds will also be made available to you and there is absolutely no risk/problem of any kind involved.
Until I hear from you, may the Almighty God continue to bless you and give you the wisdom on how to utilize the funds when finally released to you. Do kindly reply me through my direct/private Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you most sincerely for your anticipated cooperation.
MR. BRYAN SMITH
I will be expecting to receive your response through this Email address: email@example.com