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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "into your nominated bank account" (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. ANNEN JOUBERT" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 20 Dec 2009 17:38:35 +0100
Subject: COMPLIMENT OF THE SEASON
Glory to God in heaven. My name is Mrs. Annen Joubert from South Africa. I am married to Mr. Abraham Benjamin Joubert, who is a farmer here in South Africa for many years before he died in 2004. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited a total sum of $10Million (Ten Million, U.S. Dollars) with bank in Europe.
Presently, this money is still under the safe keeping of the Reserve Bank Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Two months due to my cancer problems. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want a church or God fearing individual that will use this fund on, orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and give help to mankind. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that grivet.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are nota good Christians and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. Hence the reason for taking this bold decision.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I'll forward your personal information to the bank in Europe so that they will contact you as the legal owner of this fund before transferring the fund into your nominated Bank Account in your country. I will also issue you a letter of a authority that will empower you as the original-beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Who ever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or Christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here in. Hoping to hear from you as soon as possible. Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ, Read Hebrews13:15v16 New Living Translation. Please reply me immediately you receive this mail on my email and the LORD will bless you for doing so.
Mrs. Annen Joubert.