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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Stephanie Smith" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 May 2019 11:48:42 -0700
Subject: May the peace of God be with you and your family
May the peace of God be with you and your family.I know it will be a great =
surprise reading from me today but consider this a divine intervention as a=
pastor explained to my understanding. My name is Mrs. Stephanie Smith, a w=
idow from Oklahoma USA and am writing you from my sick bed because i have b=
een fighting cancer and the doctors says i have only few weeks left. I want=
to entrust my money ($8.5 million USD) to your care for charity purposes t=
o help the less privileged as my late husbands relatives want me dead so th=
at they will claim all my late husband and i worked for. I will tell you mo=
re about myself and what you need to do with the money once your receive it=
.Please write me soon as my health is pretty bad and my doctors says i will=
be moved to the intensive care unit anytime soon.Have a blessed day and pl=
ease do pray for me.God bless you. Yours Mrs. Stephanie Smith Email: (Smith=