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:
- "stay blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Maria Schaefler <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 11:41:56 +0100
I appreciate you for writing back. Do not be bothered as to why you have
been contacted for this and its genuineness, as I have done so from a pure
motive. I got your email from a web journal and felt strongly about writing
to you. I am Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler, a German citizen and wife of the
late Georg W. Schaeffler,am 73 years old.
You can see here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maria-Elisabeth_Schaeffler
The intention of this email is to be of immense blessing to people. With
my age and my present health condition, I cannot continue to amass wealth
without giving out as I am not sure of tomorrow. I own a net-worth of over
$3.3 Billion. My only son Georg Jnr is so well to do and worth well over
$15 Billion. I have not very much to spend money on, so I am indulging
myself with such an act that will be considered a blessing to others. It is
my hope that as you receive this money it would be of great use to you and
that you can also assist others from it.
As I send this message to you all i need is your NAME,ADDRESS and PHONE
NUMBER so that i can authorize my holding Financiers to release the sum of
One Million Seven Hundred Thousand Euros (â¬1.700.000.000) to you,because
â¬1,700.000.000 is the amount that i am donating to you and i do hope you
use the money to also touch the lives of people around you in your own
Please my Friend, this is my personal wealth it doesn't need many formal
procedures, and for the sake that it might seem too easy for you to receive
this gift, I would crave your indulgence not to refer any person whatsoever
to me so that I can have my peace. I am doing this as a free-spirit gift
and I made the contact myself to you, therefore, I would give more to
contact the persons myself. PLEASE do not refer any person and do not make
a public/media show of this as I would not like any publicity of any sort.
I will wait for your email to do further. Stay blessed.