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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Wendy George <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 17:34:20 +0400
My name is Miss Wendy George, 21 years old Girl from South Sudan, My
father and I escaped from our country to Burkina Faso. At the heat of
the civil war after losing my mother and two of my senior brothers in
the war. As a result of the political instability in my country even
after the war, my father established his Gold export business in my
country South Sudan. He was in western Bahr el Ghazal state, to
negotiate for the export of a Gold business when he was shot by the
rebel troupes fighting to take over the Government of our country. You
can read more about the war in my country through the below website
After he manage to return back in this country Burkina Faso for his
treatment he died in the hospital here after he undergo all the
surgery and other treatment, The death of my father has now made me an
orphan and there by exposing me to danger. Before his unfortunate
death, my late father called me beside his sick bed and told me as his
only surviving Daughter, that he had deposited the sum of $15.5Million
United State Dollars in one of the prominent bank in Europe. With my
name as the next of kin.
As a result of the present insecurity of lives and property in our
country, I wish to request that you assist me use your account in your
country to transfer my inherited fund for business/investment also to
assist me with a letter of invitation that will make me get a visa to
your country for residence in order for me to continue my studies
under your care and to invest the fund in a viable business venture. I
am willing to give you 30% and the remaining balance will the used for
the investment under your care over there in your country.
I will appreciate your respond soonest,
Thanks and God bless you.
Miss Wendy George Gabriel