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: "Mr. Alfred Brunelli" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Feb 2019 01:45:10 -0800
Subject: Confidential Message From Mr. Alfred Brunelli
I am Mr. Alfred Brunelli, the owner of Brunelli Construction Inc. I am a British Citizen. Seven years ago the government of Nigeria awarded a contract to my company for the total overhauling and turn around maintenance of three oil refineries. The total amount for the contract was $25million. They advanced $15million and I used my own money to add to the $15million, to duly complete the contract as required, it was commissioned. I later pay off my workers since I had no other contract with the government in Nigeria.
The contract was completed after three years, commission and the refineries are working perfect as we write you this email and since then they government had not paid the balance of $10million. Not until few days I got information that the government is ready to pay the balance of $10million.
Because my health situation is critical I decided to contact you to stand as my representative and receive this balance of $10million and use as I proposed below.
Regarding my health situation, I was diagnosed with lung cancer and admitted in a hospital and after series of diagnoses carried out on me, the doctor told me that I will not live much longer from now because my body system is no longer responding well to any medications, couple with the fact that my larynx was removed last week from my anterior neck (throat) because the cancer has extended all over my body which makes it impossible for me to talk well again. my wife died eight year ago with no children. I was the only child of my late parents and I have no relations. That is why I choose you to receive this money than to allow it to be paid to my account and it end up in the hands of rich bankers when I die.
My last wish is that you use the money to help the poor and the needy no matter where they come from, according to how God may/will direct you.
Mr. Alfred Brunelli