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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "can i trust you?" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Helga Gottschalk" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 05 Oct 2019 08:36:42 +0530
I write to you in good faith. My decision to contact you is because I am a widow and since the death of my late husband i have been living alone. i have struggled all my life with my late partner and as such have a benefit of my struggle. I have been recently diagnosed with Cancer and my doctor said I have less than 6 weeks to live. Since this sudden news was said to me, I have been reflecting over my life in the past. It is painful that after over 24 years of peaceful marriage with my late husband, we had no child of our own that will inherit our numerous wealth. In the past, I have made reasonable donations to the victims of Earthquake in Haiti and also to the victims in Japan and Thailand. Now that my health is gradually deteriorating, I cannot continue to do all these by myself any more. I strongly desire to reach out to the poor and needy people, but I would prefer to continue this with the assistance of a kind and a sincere person.
Can i trust you? ; If I donate (USD$1.2M) One Million Two Hundred Thousand United States Dollars to you, can you be able to utilize it wisely to achieve my heart desire of supporting cancer patients , the less privilege and the poor people around you? . I patiently wait for a reply for further discussion
Mrs Helga Gottschalk