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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: LORITA DADA <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Oct 2021 15:52:34 +0200
Subject: FOR YOUR PERUSAL.
VILLE 1009, BIU 05
FOR YOUR PERUSAL.
WE ARE THE TRUSTEE AND EXECUTOR OF THE ESTATE OF LATE. THOMAS MOTA.
I am notifying you again as my earlier letter was returned undelivered.
I wish to notify you that my late client - THOMAS MOTA, made you a
beneficiary to his fund and estate. He deposited the sum of SIX MILLION
UNITED STATES DOLLARS (US$M6) WITH A BANK AND ALSO LEFT BEHIND an ESTATE in
Being a widely travelled man, he must have been in contact with you in
the past or simply you were recommended to him by one of his numerous
friends abroad who wished you good. Late THOMAS MOTA, until his
death was a member of the Helicopter Society and institute of Electronics
& Electrical Engineers.
Late.THOMAS MOTA was a very dedicated Christian who loved to be
involved in charity projects. His great philanthropy earned him numerous
awards during his lifetime. Late.THOMAS MOTA died at the age of 80 years
and his instructions in the papers of the WILL are now matured
Please if I reach you this time as I am hopeful, endeavour to back get to
me as soon as possible to enable me conclude my job of facilitating
release of the Benefits to you.
I hope to hear from you for procedure and conclusion. I will help with your
positive response to proceed.