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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Magdic Tomislav <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Jun 2022 03:49:19 +0100
Subject: Re: Dear Sir, Your trust is needed,
Hope my message is received without any mixed feelings. My name is
Magdic Tomislav aged 80,Croatian citizen, and I am currently ill and
given my age and my current state of health during Covid-19 Pandemic
period that is shaking the world, I am not married and I have no
child. I have some money and property which I wish to Donate to an
honest and a good-hearted Person, who can help people at this
difficult period of COVID-19,especially orphans, widows, physically
challenged people, elderly and children in difficult situations.
This Donation is a gift, and I will be happy if you can manage this
fund well with the fear of the Lord to make sure that it serves the
less privileged people around your community, especially orphans and
It is really sad to tell you that I have lost My two brothers and My
cousin and my two close friends through this dangerous pandemic
Hope to read from you in order to advise further.
Email Address: email@example.com