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:
- 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 08 Dec 2020 02:23:34 +0000
Subject: From Mrs.Ameena Essa.
To fill it in, visit:
My name is Mrs.Ameena Essa from Saudi Arabia. I am a widow suffering from
Esophageal cancer, My cancer disease has defiled all forms of medical
treatments. And according to my doctor, I have few months to live.But
before I die, I want to donate my inherited ($10.7 Million dollars) to you
so that you can use the money for humanitarian aid and charitable works,
Including building of religious houses in your country or any country of
your choice. I have also mapped out 20% of the total sum of $10.7 Million
for you as a reward for your help in carrying out this task.
If you are interested in helping me carry out my last wish, please reply to
this message to enable me to give you all the details.
Mrs. Ameena Essa
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