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:
- "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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Diana Markus <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2021 00:30:05 +0000
Subject: DONATION FUND FROM MRS. DIANA MARKUS,
How are you and family.
I am Mrs. Diana Markus. I have a (2,900,000.00 USD) MILLION fund that I
inherited from my late husband and want to donate through you for an
orphanage and charity project, but I have been suffering from cancer for so
long now that I was hospitalized for treatment. My fear now is what the
doctor informed me, after a series of tests on me that I may not live long
because of the disease and I am afraid of losing this fund to the
government because they don't care about the poor in society.
I will appreciate your honesty and courage to handle this fund to help
orphans and the charity home.
As soon as I receive your message regarding your interest in this fund to
help the charity home and the less privileged, I will give you more details
regarding this fund.
Please contact me immediately after reading this message for more details
regarding this humanitarian agenda.
God bless you while I await your response.
Ms. Diana Markus