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: "Melba Clough" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 9 Feb 2020 04:37:21 -0800
Subject: MY DEAREST BELOVED
Good day, My name are Mrs.Melba Clough, I`m 60 years old, widow, married to late Engr Martins Clough ,who until his death,worked with Dutch Filtration for Twenty-Six years before he died in the year 2007 after a brief illness that lasted only five days. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$50 Million in a bank and we all agreed as couple to donate all of that to charity.
Following my health (Lung Cancer), my Doctor told me that I may not live longer than required due to my health condition.
Looking forward to seeing someone who can use this money in charitable works. More details will be made known to you upon your response to this email.