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:
- "million us 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)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Kunio Uematsu" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 17 Aug 2020 02:46:32 -0700
Subject: Dearest Beloved !!!
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for
me.......because......I believe everyone will die someday. I have been
diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical
treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live,
according to medical experts. The situation has gotten complicated
recently with my inability to hear or speak (being deaf and dump now).
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared
for anyone (not even myself) but my business. Though I am very rich, I
was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on
my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret
all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to
have or make all the money in the world.
I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my immediate
and extended family members as well as a few close friends. I have
decided to give also to charity organizations, as I want this to be
one of the last good deeds I do on earth.
So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the U.A.E, Algeria, Malaysia
and some countries in Africa. Now that my health has deteriorated so
badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members of my
family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I
have there to charity organization in Europe; they refused and kept
the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they
seem not to be contended with what I have left for them. The last of
my money which no one knows of is the huge cash sum of Forty-Five
Million US Dollars (US$45,000,000.00) that I deposited sometime ago in
an offshore account as I operated my business there before my
sickness. I will want you to help me collect these deposited funds and
use the funds to help the orphans, less privileged, handicapped
persons, homeless, refugees, other charity organizations and do other
good humanitarian works. You shall only collect 25% of the funds for
your reward for your time and also any expenses that you might incur
during this great task.
PLEASE SEND YOUR RESPONSE TO ME WITH YOUR
DETAILED INFORMATION AND IDENTIFICATION SO THAT I CAN FORWARD TO THE
BANK WHERE FUND IS DEPOSITED.