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:
- "please indicate your readiness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Amira Jahan" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 07:00:27 -0800
Subject: Greetings From Mrs. Amira Jahan Aslan
With Due Respect and Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a
humanitarian ground. My names are Mrs Amira Jahan Aslan am 58 years
old From Ireland ; I am married to Jahan Aslan, We were married for 29
years without a child. He died after a Cardiac Arteries Operation.
And Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next 3
months due to my cancer problem (Breast cancer). Before my husband
died last year there is this sum $4,800,000.00 Million usd that he
deposited with a bank,
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to individual
that will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct herein. I
want somebody that will use this fund according to the desire of my
late husband to help less privileged people, orphanages, widows. I
took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit
this fund, and I don't want in a way were this fund will be used in
wrong way. If you wish to help me actualize this vision, please
indicate your readiness immediately you received this proposal. Remain
blessed you as you listing to the voice of reasoning.
Your beloved sister
Mrs. Amira Jahan