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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Joy Smith <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 07:51:49 +0200
Subject: GOOD DAY
God will bless you as you fulfilled my wish
My name is Mrs Joy Smith, I am a dying woman who had decided to donate
what I have to the Charities. I am 77 years old and was diagnosed for
cancer about four years ago, immediately after the death of my
husband; I have been touched to donate from what I have inherited from
my late husband for the good work rather than allow his relatives to
use my husband's hard earned fund.
As I lay on the sick bed, I want you to help me in carrying out my
last wish on earth which will be very profitable to you. I want to
WILL a total sum of $5.5 million USD to you which I want you to
distribute part of it to any charity home for me and the rest for
yourself and your family which I will inform you on how to share all,
please for further information contact me ASAP.
Mrs Joy Smith