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:
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "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. Dara" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 09:47:04 -0700
Subject: Re: May God Bless You
My name is Mrs. Dara, I got your email address from the online e-mail Database Directory through the Internet search and it's true we do not know each other but My spirit led me to write you this email.
I am a dying sick woman and I'm writing from my sickbed, I want to donate 1,400,000, British Pound Sterling, to you for charity Work in your country and other countries of the World especial at this time world is fighting against this world pandemic called Coronavirus(COVID-19)
I write to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart because my Doctor informed me that It will take only the will of God for me to survive due to my complicated health issues (CANCER).
Based on this, I want to transfer my inheritance money 1,400,000 British Pound Sterling deposited by my late husband to a faithful and God-fearing person who will use it according to my desire and that of my late husband as we have no child after so many years of our marriage...
We want you to use the funds for charity causes, while 15% will be kept by you as compensation for taking this responsibility to help mankind
A lot of people are suffering right now in the World because of this COVID-19 and I want you to use this money to help as many people as possible during this difficult moment in the History of the World.
The disbursements should be made to charities such as orphanages, motherless babies homes, poor widows, disabled, humanitarian causes, and people who need money to revive the economy/business.
I will wait to hear from you to know if you can handle this task with honesty and in good faith.