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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Caroline Kowan <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Aug 2021 13:22:42 +0200
Subject: Donation From Mrs Caroline Kowan
My name is Mrs.Caroline Kowan, I am a widow suffering from breast
cancer and renal failure, as a result I may not last till the next two
months according to my doctor's report. I was married to my late
husband Mr. Frank Kowan worked with BASF (Badische Anilin und Soda
Fabrik) Germany, and we were married for many years without a child
before his death.
I am 52 years old woman.I inherited the sum of sum of â¬3.2 million
Euro from my late husband, and I am in serious need of a good and
honest person who will claim the funds from the Bank where it was
deposited and funds use for donations to less-privileged and orphanage
homes, building schools for the destitute and disaster affected
I decided to contact you for this donation as part of my contribution
to help mankind and i would be happy anywhere i may be.I do not need
any telephone communication in this regards because of my present
health condition in accordance to my doctor's guideline report, get
back to me so that I will direct you to the Bank where this funds were
deposited by my late husband Mr. Frank Kowan, to enable you retrieve
the funds in my name as the next of kin if you can be able to carry
out this humanitarian projects as i have wished.