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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Linda Jayden" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 21 Nov 2021 11:18:06 +0100
Subject: Dear beloved,
Greetings to you! I am Mrs. Linda Jayden, a citizen of the United
States of America. I bring to you a proposal worth the sum
$7,000.000.00 (Million USD) which I intend to use for a humanitarian
project which will benefit you and the benefactresses.
I am happy to know you, I have never doubted my instinct as it has
never failed me,even as it has directed me to you at this point in
time so do not be afraid.I saw your e-mail contact at the department
of commerce and foreign trade.
I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart, it's
painful to let you know that I have been suffering from esophageal
cancer and a rare heart disease for the past 6 years and just a few
weeks ago my Doctor told me that I won't survive the illness. I am
contacting you because I don't have any other option but to open up
to you about my project at hand. I want you to handle the procedure
about the release of the fund and as well as the project too which is
very much dear to my heart.
Please get back to me by providing me with your personal information
so I can provide you with further details. Please treat this
information as strictly confidential.
Do always check your Spam/Junk folder for my next response.
Kindly get back to me on my direct e-mail (email@example.com)
I await your response.
God bless you.
Mrs. Linda Jayden