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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 06 Feb 2020 22:20:34 -0800
Subject: Peace be with you.
Peace be with you. =
How are you doing today? i hope the good mercy of god is upon you and your=
lovely family. I know this message might look strange or surprise to you, =
but please do not disregard this message because i come in peace, with the =
help of god our father who directed me to you in my dream. I am Mrs. Donna =
Brown, I got your contact on my personal search on a reliable trustworthy p=
erson to will my fund to, and you were reviewed to me by the spirit of god =
in my dream. Base on that, i have willed the only fund left in my account t=
o you, as i was directed in my dream by god, Please, all i want you to do i=
s to use my fund for a charity organization orphanage home for the lesser p=
rivilege in your home country. =
Secondly, if you want to know more details of why I have willed the only f=
unds left in my account to you, please do reply me and i will explain more =
in details to you. =
Thank you as I await your response immediately =
( email@example.com )
Please note, if you received this message in your spam/ junk/bulk folder, =
that is because of the restrictions implemented by your internet service pr=