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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Anna E. Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 20 Aug 2018 08:33:26 +0200
Subject: Re: How are you together with your family?.
I hope you are in perfect condition with your family, as good health is the most important in human life, as for me, my health condition is getting worse on daily basis but l thank God that am still alive today. Am only worried about your long silence in responding to my email regarding my candid donation for humanity which l approached you previously.
No matter the situation l will be very glad to receive your urgent reply to this mail as to enable me proceed further and send you more details and all the necessary information you need to get the funds and use it for humanity. Life has thought me that it is a rare privilege to be in the position to give for humanity. The Bible admonished us that Every ONE according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
l took this bold decission to donate all the funds mentioned in my previous email for humanity and through you. Please do not dissapoint me as it is the last decission of a dying woman. God in heaven will bless you as you help me fulfill my last wish to His own glory.
If you did not receive my previous email or have deleted it by mistake, please do let me know and l will resend my previous email to you.
Please urgent response is highly needed.
My sincere regards to you and your family.
Mrs. Elizabeth Anna Johnson.