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 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)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Elizabeth Alfred <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Oct 2017 12:38:02 +0200 (CEST)
With Due Respect And Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a
humanitarian ground ,I am a widow from Greece, my husband and I worked with
Tallow oil Cote d Ivoire before he died seven years ago, I am writing you
this message via a computer lap top on my sick bed at the hospital were I
am undergoing medical treatment I have been diagnosed of Endometrial cancer
unfortunately for me, my doctor said I don't have any chance to survive
except by a miracle, I have spent a lot of money on medical treatment yet
The reason why I am writing you this letter is because I want you to stand
as beneficiary to the sum of my $3.5Million (Three million five hundred
thousand united states dollars) I don't have any biological child of my own
who will inherit this Fund neither do I have any adopted child, My
relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness
and I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to
any of them anymore.
I want to donate this Money to support churches and evangelism I also want
to help children and orphanages in your country Donating this $3.5Million
dollars as charity is the only legacy I can leave behind after my death,
help me to fulfill this goal before I die and please always remember to
pray for me when i die my soul will rest in peace. I want you to take 30%
of the total money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to
charity" people in the street and helping the orphanage. I will await for
your urgent reply soonest.