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:
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. MONA H ALI" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 23 Oct 2018 02:16:21 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: GREETING IN THE NAME OF GOD
Dearest One I am Mrs.MONA H ALI. I am 51 years Old Woman from
(Paris) France, I married to Mr. Ali HASSAN. who worked with our
(Paris) France Embassy here for ten years before he died. We were
married for Nine years without a child. And He died
after a brief illness that lasted for only Six days.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Ten Million
five hundred thousand United State Dollars.($10.5 million dollars))
left in one Of the Bank here, And My Doctor told me that I would not
last for the next four months do to my cancer problem. Having known
my condition (cancer of lever and stroke) dear,I need a Good honest
and God's fearing person who can use This Funds for Charity works,
widows and also build schools for less privilege that will be named
after my late husband if possible.
More details later
Thank and remain bless
I will be waiting to receive your email