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:
- "remain blessed" (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: "Susan Lee Yu-Chen." <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Dec 2021 00:29:36 +0100
Subject: Dear Beloved,
My name is Susan Lee Yu-Chen a wife to the late Mr. Lee Chang Yu-Chen who
is an expatriate in United Arab Emirate (UAE), Abu Dhabi to be precise but
originally from Taiwan. My Late husband who was a Real Estate engineer and
oil dealer within the gulf regions, but died of heart failure in 2019 after
3 months of illness in the hospital in Abu Dhabi. Quite unfortunate but not
regretful, no record of any child between us, it was just the both of us
before he left me behind. However, on the 18th of December 2019, I was
diagnosed of Cervical Cancer and the doctor has just informed me that I
have less than 2 months to live. As the day unfolds my body deteriorates,
so that's why I decided to seize this little opportunity to reach out to
you to enable me fulfill my last wish on earth. So I want to donate my Will
to the Charity valued for $9,970,000.00. This is our hard earned money
meant for our future investments, but since God has decide otherwise, who
are we to question Him. That's why I want you to please, help me in using
this fund to empower the less privileged, Corona Victims etc.
If you're interested kindly get back to me with the below stated details.
Your Full Name
Your Contact Address
Your contact telephone Number
Your Marital Status
As soon as the above information is received, I will direct you to the bank
in charge for the immediate release of the said fund, following the bank's
Nevertheless, my Laptop is my only companion now as strength is no longer
with me to run around. If by any means you did not hear from me, bear in
mind that the call has been answered as I have no right to challenge God.
But then, I will be fulfilled if only you can grant my last wish so that my
soul will rest in peace.
Lest I forget, 30% of the total fund goes to you for your help and the rest
70% goes to charity work.
Thanks and remain blessed. When God decides He decides for a reason.
Susan Lee Yu-Chen.