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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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: "Mrs. Agnes Hillary" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2020 16:06:42 +0200
Subject: My Regards Dear.
My Dear Beloved,
It is so unfortunate and disappointing to me that, I have not yet received any response from you, since I sent the first message to you, But I Still pray that God bless you and your family, as you will benefit from this with if you can reply quickly.
I am Mrs. Agnes Hilary fromLondon United Kingdom, born in the state of Ohio USA. I am legally married to Mr. Hilary Felix, a British citizen born and brought up in USA, I live in Switzerland with my husband for 32 years before we move down to U.K in 1985 after my husband's retirement in 1984.I am 75 years old by the grace of God, I am a God fearing person, and I am suffering from long time (illness) cancer of the bone (leukemia). This illness has troubled me for a long time. All indications from my doctor and medical analysisis that, my condition is really deteriorating and getting worse; and it is quite obvious that I will not live more than three OR Four months, although it is God who decides. This is because the cancer disease has gotten to a very bad stage that there is no hope for me to be living again. My dear husband was involved with the January 2000 Kenya airways plane crashed as you can see on the news line website. ( 40 years period of my 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 in the bank. Today I have decided to donate and contribute toyou, your Country and to the less privileges, charity homes, and orphanage homes and to those displaced by wars going on in the middle-east and around the world.
I choose you after viewing your profile (information) and I have the confident in you because I have prayed and believed God that you can handle this process goodly. I am willing to donate the sum of GBP£12.5,million British pounds, to the less privileged of which you will be responsible in taking care of the disbursement and sharing of this money to organizations that Iwill appoint. Meanwhile, you will also get 30% of the above amount which will be; Three million, seven hundred and fifty thousand Great British Pounds (£3,750,000GBP) as your compensation for helping me fulfill this desire of donation.
Please I want you to know that this fund is still in the bank where my late husband deposited it, I am going to advice my BANKER/Lawyer to change my last will to your name and file in an application for the transfer of the money in your name. Lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred to your account will be used for this purpose whetherI am Dead then or Alive, Please bear it in mind that all the money will rightfully be changed to your names and will belong to your names as quickly as I get your reply, and I made the promise to God that the fund will be used to help the needy and the less privilege. Please replyQUICKLY.
May the Grace and Love of our GODAlmighty be with you and your family, please for further discussion, reply to me with my email address(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Please Call Me As Quickly As You Receive This Message(+44-78-6586-7855)
I wait for your urgent reply.
Mrs. Agnes Hilary.
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