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:
- "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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
- (barr. smith tabor) with this specified email: ( barr. email@example.com ) and tell him that i have donated ($8,400,000.00) to you (Aol; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Kimberly Curseen" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 2019 18:35:16 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Hello Dear
My name is Mrs Kimberly Curseen, I am a dying woman who has decided to
donate what I have to you/church. I am 77 years old and I was diagnosed
for cancer for about 2 years ago, immediately after the death of my
husband, who has left me everything he worked for and because the
doctors told me I will not live longer than some weeks because of my
health, I decided to donate the sum of $8,400,000 (Eight million four
hundred thousand dollars) to you for the good work of humanity, and
also to help the motherless and less privilege and also for the
assistance of the widows.
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly,and
please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others.
Contact my lawyer (Barr. Smith Tabor) with this specified email: ( barr.
email@example.comÂ ) and tell him that I have donated ($8,400,000.00) to
you and I have also notified him. I know I donât know you but I have
been directed to do this. my lawyer will assist you to claim the money
from Bay Federal Credit Union bank Georgia,USA. where it is being
Thanks and God bless.
NB: I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until
the Â task is accomplished as I don't want anything that will jeopardize
my last wish.