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:
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 4 Apr 2021 00:20:16 +0100
Subject: Fund donation from Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon
How are you doing beloved?
Please I want to donate a fund of $2.800,000 Million US Dollars to you for
charity and orphanage home.
I am Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon writing to you from the hospital sick bed, I am
diagnosed with blood cancer for a long time because my health is bad and I
am afraid i might lose this fund to the wicked people if I die and I need
Your honesty to handle this fund to help the charity homes and widows is
needed for more details about this fund, please your urgent response is
Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon