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:
- "hundred thousand great british pounds" (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. Wand Smith" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 13:56:16 +0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE !!!
Dear Trusted one
I am Mrs. Wand Smith,an aging widow suffering from a long time illness. I
have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of Ten Million
Five Hundred Thousand Great British Pounds and I needed a very honest and
God fearing person that will use the fund for charity purposes.
I found your profile from the guestbook resumes directories, and I decided
to contact you and if you can handle this project sincerely Kindly reply
back immediately for further details to enable me prepare a letter of
authorization in your name so that the CO-OPERATIVE BRITISH COMMERCIAL BANK
LONDON where i deposited my fund will proceed for the release of my last
wish to you.
(1) Your full names: ==(2) Personal or official contact address: ===(3) Home or Office phone#:=Îll phone#:==úx#:==(4) Your Age: ==(5)Occupation: ==(6)Marital status: ==(7) Sex: ==
Awaiting your kind response while craving your appreciation of my
Yours in the Lord,
Mrs. Wand Smith
Cancer Centre: Christie Hospital NHS Trust
Manchester North West England
London United Kingdom