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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Josepha Biondolillo <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 7 Jun 2010 16:47:02 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Donation Letter
Greetings In the name of God Almighty,
First of all, I seek your indulgence to solicit for your assistance concerning the content of my e-mail, although I am not comfortable discussing it through this manner, due to lots of unsolicited mails on the internet presently, but I have no other medium to do so right now since the situation of my health is deteriorating.
INTRODUCTION: I am Mrs. Josepha F. Biondolillo ; I am married to late Mr. S. Biondolillo of blessed memory a citizen of Republic of France. Who was a reputable business magnet-(Oil Explorer) in United Kingdom for many years before He died of Heart Attack in the year 2008. We were married for Thirty-Five years with a child and our only son died in a ghastly motor accident last year 2009. I have been battling with both lung cancer and stroke.
My late husband deposited the sum of (£2.800.000.00) Two Million Eight Hundred Thousand British Pounds Sterling with a Bank in United Kingdom and my name as beneficiary of the funds. After his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home.
According to the doctor, my medical report quotes a very short life sperm due to my health status presently. Maybe I may still have another 1-3 months to live, that I do not know but God can say. That is just my faith as a deteriorating cancer patient. But I pray to God to heal me so that I will be alive and see this work done as my late husband instructed me.
Knowing my health condition I decided to donate the above mentioned funds to an individual Muslim/Christian or any faith, so that He/She will utilise this money the way I am going to instruct herein, I want an individual that will use this fund for the less privilege ones like; orphanages, widows, also help our old ones who is unable to cater for their needs. The Bible/Qur'an made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth.
I took this decision because our only son who is suppose to inherit this money and properties is also late and my husband relatives has possesses some of my late husband properties and left me almost nothing. I don't want my late husband's relatives to know about this development, I know if I ask them to use these funds for less privilege ones they will use it for their own vested/personal interest. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in such manner, this is why I am taking this decision, I know we have not meet before but I want you to consider this mission as DIVINE MISSION!!!
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 want you and your family to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd, my happiness is that I lived a worthy life and whoever that wants to serve the God must serve him in spirit and truth.
As soon as I receive your reply I give you more details regarding this great mission.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.
Mrs. Josepha F. Biondolillo.