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.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Carol Mitchell." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 22:16:29 -0700
Subject: HELLO BELOVED CAN YOU STAND AS MY NEXT OF KIN TO HELP THE POOR?
I am Carol Mitchell a Missionary formally with Saints Peter and Paul Church Catholic North Beach/Telegraph Hill 666 Filbert St San Francisco, CA 94133 USA, I have a deposited Sum of US$6.4 Million with the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of foreign Assets Control (OFAC) with this office address Treasury Building 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, D.C, USA before I was diagnosed with cancer of the blood and according to my Doctors I have just two or three weeks to live.
So I want you to help me stand as my Next of Kin in order to enable the United States Department of the Treasury, Office of foreign Assets Control (OFAC) to release the US$6.4 Million to you via into your bank account. Note that you will take US$3.4 Million because of the expense that may occur out of this US$6.4 Million and give the remaining US$3 Million to any Charity Home here in United States, Africa, Canada, Europe and Asia because that was the vow I made to my God Almighty before I became a Missionary.
I want you to get back to me immediately if you are interested to stand as my Next of Kin, So that I can forward to you the official details for you to open up a direct communication on how to go about the claim before I pass away in this world because I have only two weeks to live according to my Doctor. I wait your urgent response to this my E-mail. (email@example.com)
Missionary Carol Mitchell.
Saints Peter and Paul Church
North Beach/Telegraph Hill 666 Filbert St San Francisco, CA 94133 USA