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:
- "god fearing " (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: "Mrs.Margaret Bennett" <Margaret@roadrunner.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 23:08:39 -1100
How are you doing? I hope you are doing well. May the name of God be prais=
ed and worship forever.I write to you in good faith and hope that you will =
understand the importance of my email and I hope as God directed me to you,=
I hope you will never let me down.My decision to contact you is because I =
have I was recently diagnosed with Cancer and the doctor said I have less t=
han 8 weeks to live. Since this sudden news was announced to me,I have been=
reflecting over my life in the past. It is painful that after over 24 year=
s of peaceful marriage with my late husband, we had a 23 yrs old son who Di=
ed in an auto crash three years ago. In the past, I have made reasonable do=
nations to the victims of Earthquake in Haiti and recently to the same vict=
ims in Japan and Thailand and also support the victim of Boko Haram terrori=
st in Western part of Africa, Now that my health is gradually deteriorating=
, I cannot continue to do all these by myself any more. I strongly desire t=
o reach out to the poor and needy people, but I would prefer to continue th=
is with the assistance of a kind person. I want you to answer the following=
questions : (1) are you a God fearing person? (2) If I donate (GBP=A35,000=
,000.00) Five Million Great Britain Pound Sterling to you, can you be able =
to utilize it wisely to achieve my heart's desire of supporting poor people=
around you? (3)Will you open a charity foundation in the name of I and my =
husband? Please write back as soon as possible.=20
Mrs. Margaret Bennett.