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:
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 Debbie Freeman" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 29 Aug 2020 12:24:23 -0700
Subject: Dear Beloved One, 29/08/2020
Dear Beloved One In Christ,
My name is Sister Debbie Freeman from Utah,United States, I'm a widow suffering from Breast Cancer and as a result i may not last till the next two months according to my doctor report. I'm married to late Pastor Johnson Freeman,and we were married for many years without any child before his death.
I'm 69 years old woman and I am deaf i don't hear. I have some funds i inherited from my late husband the sum of ($25.8 million dollars)(Twenty-Five Million Eight Hundred Thousand United State dollars) with Barclays Bank Plc,London,Uk, and all our jewelries Diamonds and Golds With the Bank Also As Well.
My dearest beloved one in Christ can i trust you to distribute our life earns to the Motherless Homes and Churches and Haiti Suffering people?We lived all day in London,Uk, since he was working here as a contractor and got share's with Coca cola Company here, but quite unfortunately,he died in a fire burnt, he burn to ashes none of is body was found.
I must let you know that these was a very hard decision, but I had to take a bold step towards these issue because I have no further option, I hope you will help see my last wishes come true.As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in London,Uk so that you can get in touch with them and the fund will be released to you.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein Please make sure you check your email often and often as i can communicate you only via email as you know i can only communicate with you via email my dear beloved and please use this fund accordingly my dear beloved.
God bless You I honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately.kindly fill up this requirements Your
Contact phone/fax number
And please my dear beloved make sure you always come online 24/7 to check your email my dear beloved and i wil be so happy and glad my love if you do my love.
Reply to: email@example.com
Sister Debbie Freeman