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.
Fraud email example:
From: Warren Edward Buffett <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 7 Jul 2022 23:54:59 +0100
Subject: Attn: Recipient of the donation
Warren Buffett Foundation
Kiewit Plaza Omaha,
Nebraska united states
Attn: Recipient of the donation
This one is from Warren Edward Buffett, a noted philanthropist, who
has pledged to donate 99% of his fortune to philanthropic causes,
primarily through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He founded the
endowment foundation in 2006 with Bill Gates, whereby billionaires
pledge to donate at least half of their fortunes.
Upon receiving this email, you must count yourself as one of the lucky
ones whose email address was among those chosen online while randomly
searching for those who will receive the sum of ($4.8 Million States
United Dollars). To learn more about this Giving Pledge, please see
the link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Giving_Pledge
Please contact the Pledge Giving department with your full name and
reference number below: TD92099692 for your claim:
Contact Person: William Johnson
Buffett Foundation of the Legal Representative
Please, you have to do your part to help other people when you have
the money in your personal account as this is the only purpose of
donating these funds to you.
Warren Edward Buffett
investor and philanthropist