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. Sarah Robert" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 8 Oct 2021 08:16:25 +0100
My name is Mrs. Sarah H. Robert from Australia; I am a dying woman who
had decided to donate what I have to the Charities. I am 75 years old
and was diagnosed for cancer about four years ago, immediately after
the death of my husband; I have been touched to donate from what I
have inherited from my late husband for the good work rather than
allow his relatives to use my husband's hard earned fund.
As I lay on my sick bed, I want you to help me in carrying out my last
wish on earth which will be very profitable to you. I want to WILL a
total sum of $5.5 million USD to you which I want you to distribute
part of it to any charity home for me and the rest for yourself and
your family which I will inform you on how to share all, please for
further information contact me as soon as possible.
Mrs. Sarah H. Robert.