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.
- 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.Rosina Taylor" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2019 21:13:08 -0700
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU
My Dear Beloved Friend
Greetings. Please let this not sound strange to you because I am not asking you of money, for my only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early this year. I prayed and got your email address from your country's guest book which I have been with my late husband and I wish to visit once more if God will in his infinite mercies grant me. In function of your good profile, I want to solicit your assistance in the discharge of my will. I am Mrs.Rosina Taylor, from London and am aged 68 years suffering from endometrial cancer. Please, I want you to help me create a charitable project with the money that I inherited from my deceased husband who died in a motor accident. I was brought up from a motherless baby's home and was married to my late husband for twenty nine years without a child.
My friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness and I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them anymore, so I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum of 9m Pounds with my bank. All I need is an honest person who will use at least %60 of the funds as I instructed, then the rest %40 will go to you for helping me accomplish this mission because donating this money to charity is the only legacy I can leave behind after my death. No money is required from you to carry on with this project because it is my heart desire to make a generous gift to you to work for a charity in your country, I don't mind if you are a Christian or Muslim, but I don't know if I can trust you because there are greedy and fraudulent people over the world. I will give you more details as soon as I hear from you.
Looking forward for your urgent response.