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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Evelyn Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 23:21:03 +0200
Subject: Greetings to you from Mrs. Evelyn Williams,
Greetings to you from Mrs. Evelyn Williams,
Dearest in the Lord,
I know you must be very surprise to read my email and apart from being
surprised you may be skeptical to reply back to me because of what is
going on through the internet world, one has to be very careful
because a lot of fraudsters are outside there trying to scam innocent
people and this has made it very difficult for people to believe
anything that comes out from the internet but my own is a different
With due Respect and Humanity I am willing to send you the sum of Five
million five hundred thousand dollars as a volunteer projects to
accomplish I and my late husband vow. I, Mrs Evelyn Williams, 63 years
old without a child, married to late Engr. Ramsey Williams whom died
of a Cardiac Arteries Operation both agreed on this project to be
executed. Presently I have been told by my doctor that I may not be
able to last for a long period of time due to Cancer of the breast and
Kidney problem including Pneumonia. Kindly reply me back for more
details as soon as possible together with your personal details to
proceed further for the sending of the fund to you immediately.
Please always remember me in your daily prayers.
Thanks and waiting your quick response.
God bless us,
Mrs Evelyn Williams