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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- 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: "ENGR. PING HUANG" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Oct 2019 10:01:54 -0700
Subject: FROM: ENGR PING HUANG
My name is Engr. Ping Huang, I am a citizen of China, A business man specialized in oil and gas, But now i am critically sick with esophageal cancer which has damaged almost all the cells in my body system.
My late wife died in an accident with our two daughters few years ago leaving me with our only son whom is just 11 years old, And he is my most concern now as he is still a child and does not know anything about life and has nobody to take care of him if i die, Because i and my late wife does not have any relative, We both grew up in the orphanage home and got married under orphanage as orphans. So if i die now my innocent child would be left alone in this wicked world and i do not wish to send him to any orphanage home, I want him to grow up in the hands of an individual, Not orphanage.
Please, I am begging you in the name of God to sincerely accept my proposal, Let me instruct my lawyer to release my fund worth the sum of US$ 10,000,000.00 (TEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) to you immediately, Then you will take my son to your home and raise him as your own son.
As soon as the funds is released to you, You shall take 30% of the total amount as my representative and the trustee of my son, And use 70% for the up keep of my little son.
Please reply immediately with your full data if you agree to help me, So that we can arrange for the release of the fund to you before anything happens to me, Because i will undergo surgery in few days time, And i do not know what will be the result of the surgery as the doctor has told me already that i may not survive.
Please i wait to hear from you immediately, It's a matter of urgency.
Reply to this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Engr. Ping Huang