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:
- "huge amount of money" (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: Christine Johansen <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 21:54:01 +0200
Sorry to have contacted you this way.
Apparently I have terminal uterine cancer. I've been to
treatment for 07 months. My attending physician told me my days were
numbered due to my deteriorating health.
Through prayer we accomplish everything. God has brought me to you so
that you can enjoy my inheritance but know that you are the right
person for me to help me manage my gifts. And in this life nothing
random happens, God always plans his plans and does everything in his
time. I plan to donate all my belongings because I have an amount of
867,000 euros in my account and I don't want to leave it in the bank.
I am looking for someone who can inherit my wealth.
That's why I ask you with a sad soul from the bottom up
eager to make good use of this huge amount of money you deserve to
create projects, classes, schools, to help poor peasants, to help
children., take care of
orphans, because behind us the children can develop and become
responsible later in society, so that the facts can one day bear
witness to how the Holy Spirit met us, that you are the rightful heir
of my gift, that you are me in the hereafter and that my soul can
glorify Christ with a joyful heart, who sent me this good person (you)
who would use my goods well like me.
THANKS FOR YOUR ATTENTION AND WAITING TO READ YOU.