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 united states 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)
- "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 Wendy Doana <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Oct 2021 07:40:58 +0100
Subject: Can i Trust you,
I write to you in good faith and hoping that you will understand the
importance of my email.I am Mrs.Wendy Doana,(Deaf) a widow too
late Mr Richmond Doana.I am 60 Years old My decision to contact you is
because I have been recently diagnosed with Cancer and the doctor said
I have less than 6 weeks to live.
Since this sudden news was announced to me, I have been reflecting
over my life in the past. It is painful that after over 24 years of
peaceful marriage with my late husband, My late husband and I grew up
in a motherless home Australia we got married and we travel to the
United States for our Wedding we had no child of our own that will
inherit our numerous wealth.
In the past,I have made reasonable donations to the victims of
Earthquake in Haiti and recently to the same victims in Japan and
Thailand and Corona Virus In the World , Now that my health is
gradually deteriorating, I cannot continue to do all these by myself
any more. I strongly desire to reach out to the poor and needy people,
but I would prefer to continue this with the assistance of a kind
person. I want you to answer the following questions,
(1) are you a God fearing person?
(2) If I donate (Usd 100m )One Hundred Million United
States Dollars to you, can you be able to utilize it wisely to achieve
my heart desire of supporting poor people around you?
God bless you abundantly.
Mrs Wendy Doana