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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "FROM MRS. FLORENCE WOODY" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 21:02:11 +0000
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP. PLEASE KINDLY GET BACK TO ME
Hello my beloved in the Lord.
First, I apologize using this medium to reach you for a transaction of this magnitude. I am Mrs. Florence Woody, from republic of Ireland, born in the state of Ohio USA. I am legally married to Mr. Richard Woody, a south Africa citizen born brought up in Switzerland, I live in Switzerland with my husband for 32 years before we move down to south Africa in 1985 after my husband retirement in 1974, I am 78 years old by the grace of god, I am a new Christian, suffering from long time cancer of the breast. All indication from my doctor that my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i wouldn't live more than two months, my dear husband was involved with the January 2000 Kenya airways plane crashed as you can see on the news line web site. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/ hi/ Africa/6627485.stm I choose you after viewing your profile and i have confident in you because i have prayed. I am willing to donate the sum of $20.5m U.S dollars, to the less privileged. May the grace of our lord the love of God and the fellowship of god be with you and your family?
I await urgent reply.
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Mrs. Florence Woody my email (email@example.com)