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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: M rs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 1 Jun 2020 09:43:23 +0000
Subject: Transfer Of $17,500,000.00 USD.
I got your contact when I was searching on the internet then I came across your email contact and decided to send you charity task/proposal. I am Mrs. Vivien Ponte am 70 years old. I write to Relate to you of my intention to use my money of Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($17,500,000.00 USD) Only, for charity work in your country. I was married to Late McCauley Ponte who was a contractor with the Government of South Africa before he lost his life aboard Egypt Air Flight 990, which crashed into the Atlantic Ocean on October 31, 1999. You can view this website to confirm: (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/502503.stm)
Am suffering from long time cancer of the breast. All indication from my doctors that my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I wouldnt live more than three months . This is because the cancer disease has gotten to a very bad stage that no hope for me to be a living person again. 22 years period of marriage life, still we could not produce any child, my late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited some part of his business and money.
The doctors warn me to stop thinking over who is going to inherit my money, Today I have decided to donate the same of Seventeen Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars ($17,500,000.00 USD) Only to the less privileges, charity and orphanage homes in your country . I want to know if I can trust you to use these funds for charity / orphanage and others ETC. And 30% will be yours as compensation. Please contact me on my email so that I will give you more details if you are interested to help.
Mrs. Vivien Ponte
Tel: + (27) 836 850 144
Fax: + (27) 865 384 390
My Contact Email: email@example.com<mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org>