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 pounds" (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: Ruth Shing <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 May 2020 15:28:15 +0100
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam
My name is Mrs. Ruth Shing nationality of Canada based in my adoptive
Country England City London. Actually I am in the hospital due because of
my cancer sickness made me to contact you regarding this vow.
I have an urgent project donation which what 10.5 million Pounds. And I
want to handle over this project to you if you can reach me back since my
situation here in the hospital canât allowed me to proceed on this divine
And I will hope to hear from you as soon as you received this mail for more
procedures Write to me on the this email address immediately. Assure me
that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your
response immediately with your full contact information as follow:
1.Full Name .....
2.Residential address .....
3.Private Phone No .....
6.Country of Origin .....
Thanks your sister in Christ
Mrs. Ruth Shing