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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Sharon Smith" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 Jul 2018 02:28:52 +0300
Subject: Can I Trust You????
I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart. As I informed you earlier, I am (Mrs.)Sharon Smith from Uzbekistan and a widow to late Martin Smith, I am 63 years old, suffering from long time Cancer of the breast. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't live more than 2 months according to my doctors.
I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr. Martin Smith, the sum of ($850.000,00) which he deposited in a Bank . I need a very honest and God fearing person that can use these funds for Charity work, helping the Less Privileges, and 20% of this money will be for your time and expenses, while 80% goes to charities.
Please let me know if I can TRUST YOU ON THIS to carry out this favour for me. I look forward to your prompt reply for more details .