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: JOY WILLIAMS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 11:29:19 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: Hello Dear Respectfully ,
Hello Dear Respectfully ,
It is my desire to contact you with all my heart but I knew is not mandatory and I will not in any manner go contrary to dishonour or disrespect you. First, I must introduce myself to you. My name is Mrs Joy Williams, former staff of Air Afrique hostess, I lost my husband some year's ago. My husband is late Mr Williams Solomon, He was a serving director of the GOLD exporting S.T.F.G.R board Cote d'Ivoire until his death. He was assassinated in September (2007) by the rebels following our political uprising.
Before his death, he deposited $8.5million ) in a suspence account in one of the leading banks here in Cote d'Ivoire and now I have located the bank However, due to my bad health situation occasioned by cancer of the lungs and my breast is affected PRESENTLY, I wish you to do me a favour to receive this fund in a safe account in your country or in any safer place as the beneficiary to enable you to invest it in a good business venture like real estate and industrial production for the benefit and education of my only son David in future, and he is only 13yrs old presently, he will be coming to stay under your kindÂ custody after the transfer to your bank for his education and future because my health is failing me at this present and I am very weak and down which I,m very afraid that I might not survive my present situation but God knows the best and I pray that whatever happens to me, you should take care of my son David for me. I shall be going in for
a surgery operations of the cancer of the lungs and my desire to this money is to be transferred to your bank fastly before my cancer operation next week. I do not wish to leave this money in the bank because bankers might take advantage of my son's age who is just 13years old and too young to handle this kind of money.
My late husbandâs relatives who should have handled this situation for me are not good type. Since my illness, they have succeeded in stealing most of my late husband's properties except this money which they do not know about and I do not want my only son David to get involved with them because they are dangerous and greedy.
Your suggestions and ideas will be highly needed please because I don't know what to do, what percentage of the total amount $8.5MILLION USD in question will be good for you after the money been transferred into your account?
As my condition of life is presently I don't want to contact any body or else they will cheat and betray me with the fund , feeling that I,m very sick I can't do anything, please I,m fearing of betrayal and that is why I contacted you to help me with all your hearth because of the confidence and trust I have in you.
Please do respond to me immediately you recieve this message then I will give you more details regarding the transfer. I,m waiting to hear from you today.
My best Regards
Mrs Joy Williams