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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev. Alice Kiesten" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 1 Jul 2020 09:20:18 -0700
Subject: Re: Seeking Your Trust.... 212.11
Hello Dear Friend,
It's my pleasure to contact you through this medium, because I urgently needs your assistance in this humanitarian investment project in your country, haven't know each other or meet before, but I know that everything is controlled by our beloved Master and there is nothing that is impossible to God almighty. You and I can cooperate together in the service of the Lord, which I pray that Jesus will touch your heart to help me out in this charitable Investment project in your country.
My names are Rev. Alice Kiesten, Im suffering from brain tumor disease and this illness has gotten to a very bad stage, without any family members. I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to entrust on you for the mutual benefit of the orphans and the less privileges ones. I have some funds I inherited from my late Father, the sum of (US 60M Sixty Million Dollars) deposited with the Bank. Havent known my present health condition, I decided to entrust this fund under your custody believing that you will utilize it the way i am going to instruct herein, for orphanages and gives justice and help to the poor, needy, elderly ones, disables and to promote the words of God and the effort that the house of God will be maintained.
My dear, all I need and required from you is your sincerity and ability to carry out the transaction and fulfill my final wish in implementing the charitable project as it requires absolute trust and devotion without any failure and I will be glad to see that the bank has finally release and transfer the fund into your bank account in your country even before I die here in the hospital, because my present health condition is very critical at the moment everything need to be process rapidly as soon as possible.
Meanwhile It will be my pleasure to compensate you as my Investment Manager/Partner with US 10M of the total money for your effort in handling the transaction, 5% percent for any expenses or processing charges fee that will involve during this process while balance of the money will be Invested into the charity project there in your country. Meanwhile I am waiting for your prompt respond, if only you are interested for further details of the transaction and execution of this humanitarian project for the glory and honor of God the merciful compassionate.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.
Yours Sincerely Sister in Christ
Rev. Alice Kiesten.