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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Jane Watford" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Dec 2022 07:23:47 -0800
Subject: Help us our lives are in danger.
FROM: JANE WATFORD.
URGENT REPLY NEEDED AND CONFIDENTIAL
I am Mrs. Jane Watford the wife of late Mr. Michael Watford (Mikhail Tolstosheya) a Russian businessman of Ukrainian origin who was found hanging in our Wentworth Estate in Virginia Water, Surrey United Kingdom on 28 February 2022.
He made his wealth from oil and gas extraction and also from sunflower oil & wheat and maize farming. To say the truth he was murdered by President Vladimir Putin who had put him on a hit list. His billionaire Friend Boris Berezovsky was murdered the same way at his home in Ascot, Berks, in 2013.
You can read this website for more details:
Now me and my 3 kids are afraid of our lives and have gone into hiding for fear of being murder also by President Vladimir Putin intelligence agency.
My family has been blessed many years, before my husband was murdered (MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE) he disclosed to me that he deposited sum of $21, 500, 000, 00 US Dollars (TWENTY ONE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS) in a security and finance company in Madrid, Spain. With the intention of using it for the purchase of estates in some rich peninsula of Spain and also farm machineries and chemicals for Agricultural and general investment purposes, he wanted to establish in Spain and instructed me to seek for a reliable and trust worthy should anything happen to him. I want you to understand that this is purely family fund not money laundering affair.
I want to normalize this fund to any meaningful business transaction, I solicit for your honest assistance as I want this fund to be transferred to your account in overseas with your partnership for investment in your country.
We can invest the fund as a family investment together with you in your country be assured that all the necessary document backing this fund has been arranged with one of the Attorney I met in Spain, feel free to ask any question regarding this transaction.
Hoping to hear from you soonest, kindly contact me through my private email for more confidentiality: firstname.lastname@example.org
I need your urgent and confidential response towards this transaction.
Thanks in advance and best regards,
MRS JANE WATFORD.