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:
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rose Miller" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Jan 2020 07:48:46 -0800
Subject: my beloved
there is something god wants me to do before i leave this earth. early last year i got a revelation from the lord where i build a mighty charity foundation and have a lot of poor and homeless having to come get help from my foundation, and i prayed about it with my pastor. later the same revelation keeps repeating even in dream, until i clear heard the voice of the lord on 22nd of september last year, he clearly told me to give out all my money for a charity project. now i have a short time to live on earth as my cancer level has got to the highest level, medical report confirms it, and before i leave this world i want to use my funds for charity to the poor, motherless babies, widows, orphan, cancer patient and all that need help in your community. i have decide to give all my fund inheritance worth eighteen million US dollars and i need someone that i can trust to use this money for my charity mission here on earth. i did not decide to do this on my own, i got the message and revelation from our lord god a