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:
- "god fearing " (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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "JOHN KANSAS ESQ" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 13:04:40 -0800
Subject: Please let me know if I can TRUST YOU
Greetings my Dear,
I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart. As I informed you earlier, I am the Personal assistant/Lawyer to Late(Mrs.)Sandra Sharon Bricks from America and a widow to the late Mr.Bricks, she was 63 years old, and suffered from long term Cancer of the breast. From all indications her condition really deteriorated and it was quite obvious that she finally died of covid 19 complications 2 months ago according to the doctors.
I have some documents related to the funds she inherited from her late loving husband Mr.Bricks, a huge sum of only $7M , deposited in a Finance Company . I need a very honest,reliable and God fearing person that can use these funds for investment and Charity work as she instructed me through her will, helping the Less Privileges, and 70 Percent of this money will be given to you for a joint investment and safekeeping, while 30 percent goes to charities as the will indicated.
Please let me know if I can TRUST YOU ON THIS to carry out this favour for this late woman. I look forward to your prompt reply for more details .
JOHN KANSAS ESQ