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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Carole Taylor" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 22 Nov 2018 22:32:44 -0800
Subject: PLEASE I NEED A RESPONSE FROM YOU
My name is Carole Taylor, I am presently in hospital, undergoing chemotherapy and radiation therapy treatment in hospital for Lung cancer. The doctors said the cancer is at it final stage and I have few days to live. My late husband left Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand British Pound Sterling in my account before his death. Am contacting you because because I want you to use the fund for charitable foundation for the needy in your location. My last wish is to help the needy, motherless, less privileged and widows. I will instruct my Bank through my lawyer in writing to transfer the fund to you as my Next of Kin and Sole Beneficiary once I receive your reply. God bless you.