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:
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Martina Piero" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 05 Apr 2020 23:20:13 -0700
Subject: Dear Beneficiary
I am sure this mail would be coming to you as a surprise since we have never met before and you would also be asking why I have decided to chose you among the numerous internet users in the world. Precisely, I cannot say why I have chosen you but do not be worried for I saw your profile on the Internet, which has made me accomplish my request. May the almighty God bless and see you through with this mission if you can carefully read and digest the message below.
Before I move further, permit me to give you a little of my biography, I am Mother Martina Piero , 72 Years old woman and the wife of Late Sir Francesco Piero who died after a long illness on Monday the 7th of September 1998 GMT 14:22 UK.
After the death of my husband I became the Head of his investment and now that I am old and have decided to spend the rest of my life with my family and loved ones whom I never had time for during the course of my business life, but before the death of my husband we had a plan to use the last days of our lives to donate half of what we have worked for to the less privilege and charity homes and the other half for ourselves, family members and close friends, and it is so unfortunate that my husband is not alive today to do this with me and I am very weak and old now, hence I have decided to do this philanthropic work on behalf of my late husband and I.
Presently, I have willed out almost half of our assets to several charity homes and to some of the less privileged in different countries. Despite the agreement between my late husband and I to give aid to the deprived, we also agreed to render support to an individual we have not meet before in life due to the fact when we were still young in life we receive an anonymous help from an individual we did not know and which we have not being able to know till date, the impact we got from such gesture made us to do same.
I am sorry to inform you that you will never have the chance to know me because I have just concluded the assignment which my husband and I have agreed upon before his sudden death and you happened to be the beneficiary of our last WILL, irrespective of your previous financial status, hence I need you to do me a favor by accepting our offer that will cost you nothing. Contact the bank bellow the transfer of fund ;
Bank : Isbankasi Bank of Turkey
Contact : Mr. Umit