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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Clara Paulettee" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 14:13:36 -0000
I am Mrs. Clara Paulettee, I'm 63 Years old.
I'm A Widow suffering from long time Illness Cancer.
I'm Married to late Dr. Andreas Paulettee From Bernese Oberland Switzerland.
My Husband Deposited the sum of (U S D $3.900.000, 00) with one of the
I want transfer these fund to your Country for charity work and to
help the Orphans, Poor and Needy.
We took this decision because we don't have any child that will
Inherit this money.
Please confirm to us the following:
1. Full Name
5. Direct Telephone Numbers
Reply to: email@example.com
Mrs. Clara Paulettee