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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Woody" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Apr 2019 13:08:41 +0200
My name is Mrs. Woody Howard , I am a dying woman who had decided to
donate what I have to the Charities. I am 60 years old and was diagnosed
for cancer about four years ago, immediately after the death of my
husband in plane Crash as a pilot, I have been touched to donate from
what I have inherited from my late husband for the good work rather than
allow his relatives to use my husband's hard earned fund.
As I lay on my sick bed, I want you to help me in carrying out my last
wish on earth which will be very profitable to you. I want to WILL a
total sum of $10.5 million USD (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United
State Dollars)to you which I want you to distribute part of it to any
charity home for me and the rest for yourself and your family which I
will inform you on how to share all, please for further information
contact me ASAP.
Mrs. Woody Howard