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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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. Angela Benjamin" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 2019 18:18:17 -0700
Subject: Can You manage and Handle this Fund ******
I am Mrs. Angela Benjamin , an aging widow Suffering from long time cancer illness. I Have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of (3,243,728.00 US Dollars) Three Million Two Hundred and Forty Three Thousand Seven Hundred and Twenty Eight United States Dollars and I need a very honest and God fearing person That Will use this fund to help the poor. I have contacted you with faith and trust, hopping That You won't disappoint me. Please if you Would Be reliable to use this fund for the good work of God and h humanity, kindly reply me as soon as possible. Your delay in Responds Will make me search for reviews of another person.
I hope to hear from you soonest. Please reply to : firstname.lastname@example.org for more details
Thank you and God Bless you.
Yours dearest sister,
Mrs. Angela Benjamin