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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Arikam marry" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Arikam marry" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Mar 2019 16:11:11 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Beloved one,
Greetings in the name of our lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs Arikam Mary Adnas, a widow to late Joseph Adnas. I am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i wonât live more than 2 months, according to my doctors.
This is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. My late husband died last three years, and during the period of our marriage we could not produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. the doctors has advised me that I may not live for more than 2 months, so I now decided to divide the part of this wealth, to contribute to the poor and needy people in Africa, America , Asia, and Europe.
I selected you after visiting the website and I prayed over it. I am willing to donate the sum of $ 4,850.000.00 dollars (Four million eight hundred and fifty thousand united states dollars) to the less privileged. Please I want you to note that this fund is lying in a bank in Abidjan. Once I hear from you, I will forward to you all the information you will use to get this fund released from the bank and to be transferred to your account.
I await your urgent reply. on my private email ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
your sister in Christ.
Mrs Arikam Marry Adnas.