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:
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Missionary Carol Mitchell <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 04:42:15 -0700
Subject: Dear Beloved
I am Carol Mitchell a Missionary formally with Saints Peter and Paul
Church Catholic North Beach/Telegraph Hill 666 Filbert St San
Francisco, CA 94133 USA, I have the Sum of US$6M in CIT Bank N.A (New
York) before I was diagnosed with cancer of the blood and according to
my doctors I have just two or three weeks to live.
So I want you to help me stand as my Next of Kin to enable CIT Bank
N.A (New York) Transfer this US$6M to you, note that you will take
US$3M out of this US$6M and give the remaining US$3M to any Charity
Home here in United State, Africa, Canada, Europe and Asia because
that was the vow I made to my God Almighty before I became a
I want you to get back to me immediately if you are interested to
stand as my Next of Kin, So that I can introduce you to my Lawyer,
Bank and direct you on how to proceed before I pass away in this world
because I have only two weeks to live according to my Doctor. I await
your urgent response.
Missionary Carol Mitchell.
Saints Peter and Paul Church
North Beach/Telegraph Hill 666 Filbert
St San Francisco, CA 94133 USA