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:
- "million dollars" (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 Lerynne West" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs Lerynne West" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2021 10:23:14 -0700
Subject: My Mega Donation!!!
My name is Lerynne West. You may have heard of me before.
In 2018, I was the winner of a 350-Million-dollar jackpot in the Powerball Lottery!
I am a single mother of three from Redfield, Iowa, and these winnings truly changed my life.
Below is the link to prove my claims:
https://edition.cnn.com/2018/11/15/us/powerball-winner-donation-veterans-group-trnd/index.htmlPowerball winner donates half a million dollars to veterans group - CNN
A woman who won nearly $350 million with a Powerball ticket has decided to give back to charitable organizations, including half a million dollars to a veterans group.
I have been called all kinds of names, just because i decided to give back to society.
I have watched this pandemic unfold, I have seen families lose there loved ones, and i have also seen many homeless
people, if i keep holding back and not do anything it won't be fair in the sight of the Almight God.
As such, I decided to select several recipients for a one-time donation.
Your e-mail address was randomly selected via my foundation, and I am writing to offer you a donation of $1.7 Million.
This donation is in support of COVID-19 relief and with it, I hope to share a small part of that good fortune that shined on me that day.
In order to claim your donation, I will need you to send me your:
Address (City, State and Country)
My Account Officer will then arrange the payment of the $1.7million dollars.
My hope is that I will be able to share with you the emotions I felt that day.