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 Andre Coker" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 8 Apr 2022 14:46:43 +0300
GREETINGS AND SORRY FOR INTRUDING INTO YOUR PRIVACY.
My name is Mrs Andre Coker. I am a Cancer Patient and the disease have
taken over my entire system according to medical diagnosis and I want to
donate my inheritance fund ($32.Million Dollars) that my late husband
left with a financial house in Turkey to you because recently, the
doctor told me that I might not survive the latest Surgery which I have
been booked for.
I want you to use 30% of the fund to build orphanage homes while 20%
goes to Cancer research program's and then donate 25% to institutions
housing elderly and retired persons who bore no children in their
lifetime just like I and my late husband. The remaining 25% goes to you
as the person who agreed to carry out my last wish and I will give you
more details only if you are willing and ready to handle this project.
please reply to me on this email.
Mrs Andre Coker