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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Isabelle M James" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 12 Jul 2021 13:37:34 -0700
Subject: --CHARITY DONATION--
My name is Mrs Isabelle M James, I'm Canadian,married to Late Dr.Thomas James,We were married for 32 years without a child.
My late husband was a businessman and Gold merchant but he was poisoned by his business partners.And Recently, My Doctor told me that I will undergo a Surgery (Cancer of the lung) and I may not survive it or live longer than required due to my health condition.Dearest Belove I inherited funds from my late husband he deposited the money with a bank.
Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a God fearing/Trusworthy person who will stand as my representaive and use this money the way I am going to instruct.
Kindly get me if you are interested to carry out this humanitarian/Charity duties.Contact me(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thanks and God Bless you
Yours Sister In Christ
Mrs Isabelle M James