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:
- "million dollars" (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 Isabella Joseph <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 9 Jan 2022 11:24:01 -0200
Subject: Hello My Beloved in Lord
My Warmest Greetings,
I am Mrs. Isabella Joseph; I have decided to donate what I have to you/
Motherless babies/Less privileged/Widows' because I am dying and diagnosed
with cancer about 2 years ago. I have been touched by God Almighty to
donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for the good
work of God Almighty. I have asked Almighty God to forgive me and I believe
he has because he is a Merciful God. I will be going in for an operation
I decided to donate the sum of ($11.5 million Dollars) to you for the good
work of God Almighty, and also to help the motherless and less privileged
and also for the assistance of the widows. At the moment I cannot take any
telephone calls right now due to the fact that my relatives (that have
squandered the funds I gave them for this purpose before) are around me and
my health status also. I have adjusted my will and my lawyer is aware.
I wish you all the best and May the good God bless you abundantly, and
please use the funds judiciously and always extend the good work to others.
As soon as you get back to me, I shall give you information on what I need
from you then you will contact the bank and tell them I have willed those
properties to you by quoting my personal file routing and account
information. And I have also notified the bank that I am willing to give
that property to you for good, effective and prudent work. I know I don't
know you but I have been directed to do this by God Almighty.
If you are interested in carrying out this task, get back to me for more
details on this noble project of mine.