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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 "dying widow" scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Mieko Hitoshi" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 27 May 2020 08:44:23 -0700
Subject: Please Can You Handle This Project?
I am Mrs. Mieko Hitoshi from Japan but now in hospital. I and husband were into, Real Estate Business and a Government Contractor before my husbandís death on May 25 2012. We were married for 15 years without a child due to my fibroid problem. And since my husband's death I have been diagnosed with cancer that I hardly move around.
Recently,my Doctor told me that I would not last for next 6 weeks because the cancer has gotten to a very bad stage. When my husband was alive he made a deposit of $7,500,000.00USD. Knowing my condition I have decided to donate this money out for charity purposes. Beloved one, I want to transfer this money to you, I want you to use at least 70% of this money to visit the orphanages homes, help the poor, sick ones in the hospital and woman with cancer then take the remaining amount to take care of your home because every worker deserve his wages. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money, my relatives are not Good,
they are selfish, they frustrated my marriage life, because of my condition they turned their back on me thinking nothing good will come out from me since I am SICK AND CHILDLESS moreover I and my late husband vowed to use our last wealth to help the less privileged since we have no child. Please I don't need any telephone communication at all because of my health condition.
My dear, Reply me at ( email@example.com ) for more details. He who is gives to the poor lends to the lord and the lord will reward him for what he has done.
Thanks and be Blessed.
Mrs. Mieko Hitoshi