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)
- "stay 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 9 Sep 2022 06:18:13 -0700
Subject: Hello Dear
Thank you for the prompt response, please don't be bothered as to why
you have been contacted for this and its genuineness as I have done so
from a pure motive, I am Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler-Thumann 80 years
old, a German citizen, wife of late Georg W Schaeffler, you can see
here: ( forbes.com/profile/maria-elisabeth-schaeffler), view this link
to read more about me and my family profile.
The intention of this email is to be of immense blessing to people
around the world. I am currently in UK doing some Charity Projects by
building 20 Schools and 10 Hospitals and finally 10 Orphanage Homes
during this trying time of COVID-19 pandemic.
With my age, I cannot continue to amass wealth without giving out. I
own a net-worth of over $2.5 Billion. My only son Georg is so well to
do and worth well over $15 Billion. I have not very much to spend
money on, so I am indulging myself with such an act that will be
considered a blessing to others. It is my hope that as you receive
this money it would be of great use to you and that you can also
assist others from it.
As I send this message to you, I also sent to others too, I sent to
churches, Mosques, Orphanages, and individuals, each bonafide
beneficiary will receive a Freewill Donation of $1.8 Million Dollar
each from me.
All this being said, if you know you are ready to receive your
donation funds of $1.8 Million Dollars. Kindly confirm readiness by
formally introducing yourself in detail as listed below.
I will wait for your email to do further. Stay blessed.
Mrs Maria-Elisabeth Schaeffler
Co Owner Schaeffler Group