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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Sharon Suzuki" <email@example.com>
Date: 2 Jun 2021 04:34:33 -0700
Subject: Can I Trust You?
I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes
and great sorrow in my heart. I am (Mrs.)Sharon Suzuki from Japan and a 63
years old widow suffering from long time Cancer of the breast. From all
indications my condition is really deteriorating here in the hospital.
I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband , the sum of
($2,000,000,00) which he deposited in a Bank .I want to trust you to use these
funds for Charity work, helping the Less Privileges, and 20% of this money will
be for your time and expenses, while 80% goes to charities.
I am not stupid, all the people I know have disappointed me as I am sick,
they would not obey my wish even organisations , rather they will use my money
for themselves. I decided to trust someone that does not know me well to do my
Please let me know if I can TRUST YOU ON THIS to carry out this favour for
me. I look forward to your prompt reply for more details .