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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: gloria_moses <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Sep 2010 08:37:44 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: GIFT FROM MRS GLORIA MOSES
GIFT FROM MRS GLORIA MOSES
I am Mrs Gloria Moses from Kuwait. I married to Mr Gideon moses who worked with
Kuwait embassy in Ivory Coast for nine years before he died last year.We were
married for nineteen years without a child. He died after a brief illness that
lasted for only fourdays.
Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$8.5million
a Bank here in Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire.Presently, this money is still in
of africa. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the
months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke
sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a
organsation that will utilize this money the way
I am going to instruct herein.
I want this fund to be use for orphanages, widows,schools, hospitals, and
propagating the message of love to all mankind.I took this decision because I
don't have any child that will inherit this money, I want God to be
me and accept my
My husband relatives are selfish,they refuse to distribute to charity
organization some amount of money which my late husband gave to them
on the second day of his illness,I don't want a situation where this
be used in an ungodly way.
This is why I am taking this decision.I am not afraid of death hence I know
where I am going.i know that God will fight my case and I shall hold
my peace. I
don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
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 shall give you the contact of the
Bank here in
Abidjan Cote d'Ivoire. I will also issue you an authority letter that
you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you to always pray for me. My
happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Please always be
all through your life.
Contact me on the this e mail address e mail address
any delay in your reply will give me room in searching for another person or
organsation for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act
accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to receive your reply.
God bless you
Mrs Gloria Moses