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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Clare Petterson" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 26 Mar 2021 05:27:40 -0700
Subject: HELLO DEAR
I am Mrs Clare Peterson from Australia I am married to late Mr George
Peterson, who worked with TOTAL OIL in Benin Republic for Twenty-Six
years before he dies in the year 2009,after a brief illness That
lasted for only five days We were married for Eighteen years with a
daughter (Lillian)who later. Died in a motor accident. Before the
untimely death of my husband, Since after his death I decided not to
remarry When my late husband. Was alive, he deposited the sum of USD
$1.5M (One Million, five. A Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in
a General Trust Account. With a prime bank in Cotonou Benin republic
Presently, this money is. Still, with the bank.
Recently, following my ill health, my Doctor told me that I may not
Last for the next eight months due to my cancer problem. The one that
Disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I
Decided to donate this fund to an individual or organization that will
Utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, according to
The desire of my late husband before his death I want this fund to be
used in Activities like, Orphanages, widows, and displaced children. I
took this decision because I don't have any Child that will inherit
this money and my husband relatives are Unbelievers.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
Health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always I
don't want them to know about this development, as soon as I receive
Your reply, I shall give you the contact of the bank in Cotonou. I
Will also issue you the documents that will prove you the present
Beneficiary of this fund.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another for this
Same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I
Stated here in. Hoping to receive your reply.
Thanks, and god bless you,
Mrs. Clare Peterson.