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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev.sister gloria aza" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 1 May 2021 10:32:18 +0100
Subject: HIS WILL TO YOU
My name is Rev.sister gloria aza from SS. Peter and Paul Catholic Church
Benin Du Republic, i wish to inform you that we lost Rev.Fr. Peter Colapiet.
Late Rev. Fr. Peter Colapiet died on 05th October 2020, he is an Orphan
from Michigan United State Of America, but nationalized in SS. Peter and Paul
Catholic Church in Benin Du Republic.
Before his death, he made a Will and gave an instruction to contact you
Via your e-mail address when he died as his Next of Kin. I am glad to
inform you that late Rev. Fr. Peter Colapiet made you the beneficiary of
his will at the sum of $6,500,000.00 and i know you might be wondering
how late Rev.Father Peter Colapiet made you the beneficiary of his WILL.
He made a random sampling of many people's e-mail addresses as his
spirit direct him, by the help of MICROSOFT INTERNATIONAL FIRM and
yours came out as a draw before Leukemia took him. That is how you were
picked as his sole beneficiary to be contacted after he pass on and
memorial service completed.
To lay claims to this WILL, contact me with the information's below
so that i can forward it to Bank where the deposit is lodged for the
release of your funds.
Next of kin:
Private Phone number:
Thank You and remain bless
Rev.sister gloria aza