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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Elisbeth Rose Farmer < email@example.com >
Date: 27 Dec 2019 16:54:42 -0800
Subject: Are you Alive? Please read before I die..........
My Dear Friend
I am writing this mail to you with serious tears in my eyes and
great sorrow in my heart, I decided to contact you due to the
urgency of my situation.
I am a widow, I lost my husband 9 years ago and we were married
for 27 years without a child.
He died after a brief illness that lasted for couple of weeks.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Fourteen
million,($14,000,000) with one of the banks here, because we
had plans of having an orphanage home.
Meanwhile, recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last,
that i have couple of weeks to live due to lung cancer and
colorectal Cancer problem coupleÂ my hemorrhagic stroke.
Having known my condition I decided to chose you has my project
manager to take care of the less-privileged with the fund.
you will utilize this money the way I have instructed herein.
I want you to take 30% of the total money for your personal and
family use While 70% of the money will go to charity work" You
will build an orphanage home in my name. Because I grew up as an
Orphan and I don't have anybody as my
family member. As soon as I receive your reply I shall link you
up with the bank for the fund transfer processing to any account
of your choice in your country or abroad.
Please kindly contact me back with the following information.
Your full name...............
Your address ................
Your mobile number...........
Date of Birth ................
So I can forward them to my bank for immediate change of account
information to yours, so that if i die anytime, the situation
will not be complicated.
I count on your goodwill and especially on the proper use of
Waiting for your urgent response.
Mrs. Ellsbeth Rose FarmerÂ Â Â Â Â