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.
- 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Wilford Attorneys"<email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 20 Jul 2019 09:04:01 +0200
Subject: Final Reminder
On behalf of the Trustees and Executors of the estate of Late Mr. Andrew Richard, I once again try to notify you as my earlier letter was returned undelivered. I hereby attempt to reach you again by this same email address on the WILL.
I was made to understand that My Late client Mr. Andrew Richard met with someone who recommended you to him during his business trip before he died.
I wish to notify you that late Mr. Andrew Richard made you a beneficiary to his WILL. He left the sum of Ten Million Dollars (USD$10,000,000.00) to you in the codicil and last testament to his will.
Being a widely travelled man, he must have been in contact with someone who recommended you to him in the past or simply you were nominated to him by one of his numerous friends abroad who wished you good.
Mr. Andrew Richard until his death was a member of the Helicopter Society and the Institute of Electronic & Electrical Engineers. He was a very dedicated Christian who loved to give out.
His great philanthropy earned him numerous awards during his life time. Late Mr. Andrew Richard died on the 16th day of February 2018 at the age of 71.
According to him this money is to support his Charitable activities (May his soul rest with the Lord) and to help the poor and needy.
Please if I reach you as I am hopeful, endeavour to get back to me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job. Please provide the required details.
Telephone, Age, Occupation and City to enable me process the fund to you.
Please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
John Greg Wilford