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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: juliana juliana <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2020 09:59:57 +0100
Subject: Have A Donation For You
Greetings to you and your family. I am Mrs. Juliana Timothy A widow to
late Mr. Johnson Timothy of Ivory Coast" I am 58 years old, my late
Husband was a
Director with the Construction Company here before his Sudden Death in this
Country's present political Crisis 2013,
but before his death, he Deposited the Sum ofÂ¨$4 Million US dollars with one of
the Bank here in Ivory Coast with my name and i am suffering from pancreatic
cancer, My condition is really bad and it is quite obvious that I wonât live
more than two months according to my doctors, and i have no Child who is
going to take care of this Huge amount of Money, I am willing to donate the
sum of $4,Million US dollars for you to help widows and the less privileged
ones in the rural and urban areas and to carry out charity works in your
Country and around the World on my Behalf,
Waiting for your Urgent Responds.