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:
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: AGENCY <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2021 13:41:27 -0700
*I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow
in my heart. I am Mrs. Charlotte Mia, from Cote d'Ivoire and a widow to
late Mr Simon Mia, I am 63 years old, suffering from long time pancreatic
cancer. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it's
quite obvious that I may not live more than two months according to my
doctors. I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr
Simon Mia, as his next of kin the sum of $1.7 Million. which he deposited
in the Bank before passing away in 2017 he died after a few days in the
hospital. presently his account is dormant, Two need legal backing as to
prepare a legal affidavit / Deed of Donation at the court which has to be
legalized by probate authority. I want to know if I can trust you to use
these funds for charity/orphanage and 30% of this money will be for your
time and expenses during the process while 70% goes to charities.
Everything will be transparent. Hope is well understood. If i did not hear
from you i will contact another person in the same case.*
*Please contact me for more details.*
*Yours in the Lord,*