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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Susan S. Cage" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Jan 2020 06:47:37 -0800
Sorry for invading your privacy, my name is Susan S. Cage I am 81
years, citizen of United States and presently in hospital undergoing
chromatography for bronchogenic carcinomas (Lung cancer) which
affected both Lungs. The doctors said I have few days to live because
the cancer has now affected my brain.
My late husband left Fifteen Million, Five Hundred British Pounds
Sterling in my account, I want to transfer the money to you and I want
you to use it as a donate for charitable and help the needy,
motherless, less privileged and widows within your location.
I need your assurance that you will use the fund for charity, once I a
favorable reply from you, will inform my Bank through my lawyer to
transfer the fund to you as my Next of Kin and Sole Beneficiary. Once
I receive your response, I will inform my bank in writing through my
Thank you and God bless you.
Mrs. Susan S. Cage