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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "with your full names" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS SARAH NELSON TAN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 13 Jan 2022 12:04:51 +0100
Subject: GREETING TO YOU
Greetings to you,
I'm Mrs. Sarah Nelson Tan, I was married to Engr Nelson Tan, who worked for ExxonMobil oil company for fifteen years before he died in 2009. You may have heard of him at the oil company. We were married for 25 years without a child. He died while working in an oil company on April 11, 2009.
Before he died, we were both devoted Christians. Since his death, I have decided not to remarry. When my late husband was alive, he made a fixed deposit of (EUR 22million) with a finance company which i will not like to disclose here now. i was planning to start up Orhanage home with this fund before this sickness struck me.
I'm currently in a hospital undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer. Since then I have been unable to speak and I know that, I only have little time to live because the disease is getting worse every day.
I need you to receive this fund and distribute it to charities and other vulnerable people in your city.If you are willing and honest enough to grant my requests, kindly reply me with your full names, and personal or business address.By the Grace of God i will hand over the docuements for you to get the fund.Email me at:email@example.com