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:
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Vivian Jones" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2019 10:27:23 -0700
Subject: From Mrs Vivian Jones.
My name is Mrs. Vivian A. Jones Married to Mr. Larry Jones with no
children. I am 62 years old and a dying woman who has decided to donate
what I have to charity through any thoughtful and selfless someone, I got
your information from a directory, although I am not comfortable using
this medium knowing to the unsolicited emails everywhere but someone has
to be used to save this transaction. So, I honestly crave your indulgence
to digest and do what I have to say, please.
I am a woman who was diagnosed for cancer about 4 years ago, after the
death of my husband who had left me everything he worked for. I have
decided to donate from what I have inherited from him to charity through
someone sincere, honest and God fearing since I cannot do it all by myself
considering my condition and time limit. Please if you are such person do
respond in time so that I can let you know further my intentions and
wishes as the doctors have confirmed that I only have a few time to live