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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Williams" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 01:44:08 +0200
My name is Mrs. Wendy Jane Williams.From South Africa I was diagnosed
with cancer about 3 years ago, and I am receiving treatment for it,
but now the doctors are saying I have a short time to live. I had no
children of my own with my late husband.My Late McCauley Scott
Williams who was a contractor with the Government of United Kingdom
before he died for plane crashed in 2000 in Kenya airways. I have
decided to donate the sum of Thirty million Five Hundred Thousand
United State Dollar, so you can disburse to charities, widows, orphans
and less privileged. I was doing this myself but now my health has
deteriorated.I will be going in for an operation soon; I want this
last act of mine to be my way of giving back to humanity. Please let
me know if this is something you can handle and I will provide you
with more details.Stay blessed,
Thanks and God bless.
Mrs. Wendy Jane Williams.