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:
- "million 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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "god fearing " (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Kateline Lowe" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 17 Apr 2021 20:24:43 +0530
Greetings, Please let this not sound strange to you because my only surviving lawyer who would have done this died Early this year.I got your email I.D from your country's guestbook online.
I'm Mrs.Kateline J. Lowe from Ireland, born in the state of Ohio USA. I am legally married to Mr.John Wiley Lowe, 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, and I am suffering from long time (illness) cancer of the bone (leukemia) and throat Cancer. This illness has troubled me for a long time.
All indications from my doctor and medical analysis is that, my condition is really deteriorating and getting worse,and it is quite obvious that I may not live more than six 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. ( http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6627485.stm ) 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 to you, your Country and to the less privilege, charity homes, and orphanage homes and to those displaced by wars going on in the middle-east and around the world.
Since the death of my husband I decided not to re-marry, I sold all my belongings and deposited all the sum of USD37.6Million Dollars USD with International Monetary Funds Bank in United States.
Presently,I am in India and this money is still with IMF Bank, the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the funds for keeping it so long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf, before they get it confiscated.
Am always with my laptop in the hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for the cancer in India. I have since lost my ability to talk.
I Hope you are a God fearing person. It is my last wish to see that this money is invested in funding charity organizations and the poor or motherless babies home,orphanages and widows.
As soon as I receive your respond I will issue you a letter of authorization to contact the International Monetary Fundâs Bank in the United States.
Please contact me on my private email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Hoping to hear from you
Mrs. Kateline J. Lowe