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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Susan Glory" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Nov 2020 03:53:06 -0800
I am Susan Glory, a mistress of Late Mr. Ye Myint who was the former Chief Minister of Mandalay Region, Myanmar and also was a former Lieutenant General in the military. I have been with the General for over thirty years without any child before he died in 2019.
The General left behind the sum of US$10.600, 000.00 (Ten Million Six Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) in a bank in Europe and the fund is meant for charity for the poor and the needy. Kindly get back to me if you have any reputable charity organization or if you are ready to receive the funds and go into charity by forwarding:
Your full name
Contact address and country
Your phone number
Your charity plan
I am old and seriuosly sick and do not need the funds. The bank officer who knows my relationship with the General has advised me to send details of any charity organization for release of the fund to accomplish the late General wish.
Kindly get back to me if you are interested.