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.
- 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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Marie Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 02 May 2020 07:48:44 +0100
Subject: "MARIE FOUNDATION" ...to help the less privileged
Hello, With Due Respect,
My name is Mrs Marie Smith, was married to Late Dr. IDRISU Smith, We
were married for 32 years without a child. My late husband was a
businessman and Gold merchant but he was poisoned by his business
partners. And Recently, My Doctor told me that I will undergo a
Surgery (Cancer) and I may not survive it or live longer than required
due to my health condition. I inherited a total sum of $2.6M. (Two
Million, Six Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) from my late
husband, which is deposited in a bank . Having known my condition, I
decided to donate this fund to any God fearing man or woman who will
use the money the way I am going to instruct. I want somebody who will
fulfil the desire of I and my late husband to help the less privileged
people, orphanages and the widows in our society. I took this decision
because according to my history, I was once an orphan who was raised
from orphanage home in America.
This is why I am taking this decision to hand over this fund to you in
good faith and measure to help the less privileged by opening a
foundation you will call "MARIE FOUNDATION". If you are interested in
to handle this project, please give me your, name, address, profession
and telephone numbers for me to get the inheritance letter for you as
soon as possible. I have a limited time to live, I am not afraid of
death, hence I know where I am going. I want you to always remember me
in your daily prayers because of my upcoming Cancer of the breast
Surgery. Kindly contact me if you are interested to carry out this
Send me below info to my private Email: email@example.com
Telephone/ Cell Phone No:
Mrs. Marie Smith