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:
- "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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Deborah A. Johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 16 Jul 2019 09:54:44 +0200
Subject: MY BELOVED FRIEND.
My Beloved Friend In The Lord.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am Mrs. Deborah A. Johnson from Bahrain, a widow to late Dr. A. Johnson. l am 51 years old and a converted born again Christian, suffering from long time cancer of the breast, from all indication my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I might not live more than two (2) months, according to my doctor because the cancer has gotten to a very worst / dangerous stage.
My late husband and my only child died last five years ago, his death was politically motivated. My late husband was a very rich and wealthy business man who was running his Gold/Diamond Business here in South Africa. After his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. My doctors has advised me that I may not live for more than two (2) months, so I now decided to divide the part of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the churches in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. I collected your email address during my desperate search on the internet and I prayed over it and the spirit our Lord Jesus directed me to you as an honest person who can assist me to fulfill my wish here on earth.
I decided to donate the sum of $5,600,000.00 USD (Five Million Six hundred thousand United States dollars) to the less privileged because I cannot take this money to the grave. Please I want you to note that this fund is lodged in a bank here in South Africa.
Once I hear from you, I will forward to you all the information's you will use to get this fund released from the bank here in South Africa and to be transferred to your bank account. I honestly pray that this money when transferred to you will be used for the said purpose because l have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity. May the grace of our lord Jesus the love of God and the fellowship of God be with you and your family.
Reply me on my private email address (email@example.com)
Thanks and God bless you.
Your beloved sister in Christ.
Mrs. Deborah Johnson