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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Daria Donovan" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 10:17:57 -0700
Subject: PEACE BE ONTO YOU
Good day.I wish this message may not embarrass you as I had no previous correspondence with you. I wish you safe from this pandemic troubling the world. I frankly do not mean any harm in passing this my message to you today. For security reason and also due to what is happening all over the internet now are days, the details of my personality will be directed to you via my private email as soon as I receive your response to my request below.
I am woman, and i am undergoing medical treatment at moment. I married to a lovely and gentle man who worked with JAPAN embassy before he died. When he was alive, he deposited some funds in a Financial Institution. Presently, this money is still with them. What is actually disturbing me now is my stroke, having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to individual who has fear of God that will use this money the way I am going to instruct here in.
I want you to use this funds help the widows, orphanage. And you can as well invest part of it into viable and profit yielding ventures in your country instead of keeping idle funds. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit the money, and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused. I don't want situation whereby this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. Please, for now i don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health, and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Financial Institution. I shall also send a letter of authority to them that will empower you as the next of kin/ original beneficiary of this fund. Note: if you do not have confidence in this message, kindly delete it and accept my sincere apology for contacting you in this manner.
And any delay in your reply will give me room to source for individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here.
Hope to hear from you.
Mrs. Daria Donovan