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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- ",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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Lisa Gammon" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jun 2018 00:17:36 -0700
I am Mrs Lisa Gammon, A deaf widow to late Sydney Gammon from Columbus, Ohio in United States Of America.I couldn't produce a child throughout my marriage with my late husband. Presently,am receiving treatment in the hospital where i have spent more than a year now,am suffering from long time cancer of the breast,from all indication my condition is really deteriorating because it has gotten to the bad stage,my doctor said it's obvious i will not live for more than six months.
I inherited my husband's businesses and wealth after his death totalling US$18,000,000.00(Eighteen Million US Dollars) currently deposited with a bank in my name, after several severe prayers and considering my health condition i decided for the whole funds to be donated to charity and also for the development of charity foundations like schools,hospitals etc, in Asia,America,Europe and Africa.
My lawyer made me to understand that there are lot of scam letters going viral on the internet but this is no scam but real,your sincere assistance will save many life in the world,let your heart be touched to hear my cry.
You will be compensated with 20% of the total sum which is US$3,600,000.00(Three Million Six Hundred Thousand U S Dollars) after you receive the whole funds in your bank account in your country while the remaining 80% which is US$14,400,000.00(Forteen Million Four Hundred Thousand Dollars) will be utilized by you strictly on charity foundation in my name e.g(Lisa Gammon charity foundation,schools,hospitals etc).
If you are interested kindly get back to me immediately on my private email address below for more firstname.lastname@example.org