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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Ms. Shirley Jill McAllent<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 04 May 2021 11:36:00 +0200
Subject: Please accept my offer.
I know you will be surprised reading from me today but considers this a divine intervention. My name is Shirley Jill McAllen, widow with stage 4 cancer.
I saw your email in my search for someone I can trust to assist utilize the proceeds realized from my estates and investments for charity, basically helping the less privileged, widows and orphans because according to the doctors my days are numbered.
I desire to entrust this amount of money in your care and It is my last wish to use this money strictly for charity hence seek a sincere heart to actualize this as my health no longer permits me.
I am willing to give you a substantial part of the funds for your personal and family needs so reply to my email and give me your word never to betray my trust. I have to rest now and will explain further when i hear from you. God bless you,
Contact email; (email@example.com)
Shirley Jill McAllen