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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sofia Didier" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Dec 2021 04:25:20 -0800
Subject: Donation For Charity Work From Mrs. Sofia Didier
Dearest Beloved in the Lord.
I pray that God will protect you and your family. My name is Mrs.
Sofia Didier; I am an Esophageal Cancer patient, and presently
hospitalized. My doctor says I have a few months to live. I have been
touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late
husband to you for good work of God.
I will be going in for an operation soon. I decided to WILL/donate the
sum of $5,500,000.00 to you for the good work of God, to set up a
foundation for the Orphanage.
I will provide you more details information after knowing your
willingness to handle this fund with fear of God.
Thanks and God bless.
Mrs. Sofia Didier