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:
- ",000,000" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Office Payment <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 6 Oct 2020 22:26:47 +0100
Subject: My Dearest One,
Mrs. Lisa Milner
Co-Founder, Weigold & Bohm Oil Retired
ThÃ¼nefeldstrasse 5. D-82299 TÃ¼rkenfeld
I am Mrs. Lisa Milner, 61yrs old from MÃ¶nchengladbach, Germany and I am
diagnosed of Chronic Myelogenous Leukemia (CML) and my Doctor told me
that my Life is now short-lived due to the damage the cancer has done to
me. I am presently in Luxembourg receiving treatment in a private
hospital. I am contacting you to entrust my fixed deposit income values
(US$15,000,000.00) with a financial institution abroad to you, so that
through you this fund can be made available to reputable charity
organizations around the world. Please get back to me for more details.
Mrs. Lisa Milner.
MY REPLY EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org