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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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: Mrs Asiya Al Silaimani <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 6 Mar 2011 13:27:16 -0800 (PST)
Subject: Dear Beloved
I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart.With due respect trust and humanity, i appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read through my letter,honestly i am writing this email to you with pains, tears and sorrow from my heart, i will really like to have a good relationship with you and i have a special reason why i decided to contact you, i decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation.Please let this not sound strange to you for my family lawyer who would have handled this executor ship of my will on my behalf died early this year as a result of a protracted illness. I prayed and got your email, I am Mrs. Asiya Harlow Al Silaimani from Oman, 50 years young. I am suffering from a protracted cancer of the lungs which has also affected my brain cells as a result of complications. From all indication my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that according to my doctor I have been advised that
I may not live for the next two months, my chances of living is 85-15,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a critical and life threatening stage.
All my life i have lived in an orphanage home as a child of circumstance, having been abandoned at birth by my teenage biological mother and taken to an orphanage home by a Good Samaritan. I was married to my late husband Mr.Said Al Silaimani for twenty three years without a child my husband was hypertensive and died of cardiac arrest.
Since my husbands death I decided not to re-marry when my ailment became terrible, I sold off all our choice properties and personal belongings including a shopping mall, an hotel, shares, bonds, jewelries and other valuable family treasures and deposited the proceeds amounting to USD$10.2million dollars with my BANK. Presently, this money is still lodged with the Bank and the management and board of directors of the bank just wrote me as the sole owner to come forward to receive the money after having kept it for so long a time in their coffers or that I can issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over and claim the funds due largely to my illness or they get it confiscated.
Moreover, I'm writing you with my laptop in a hospital in London located at Discovery Court Wallisdown Road Poole BH12 5AG London-England. It is the leading cancer treatment hospital in the world. I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. My doctors like i said earlier told me that my chances of living is 85-15. It is my last wish therefore to see that 80% of this money is invested to any Arabian organization of your choice and distributed each year among charitable Organizations, the poor and the motherless babies homes. You can also extend to churches and mosques if you wish while 20% of the money is for your personal use.
I want you as a God fearing person to take it upon yourself and use this money for the aforementioned purposes i took this decision in other to help humanity in my little capacity before I rest in peace in the bosom of the almighty, according to my physicians my time will soon be up. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the official contact of the Bank officials, to enable you reach them without delays. I will also issue you a letter of authorization that will prove you as the new beneficiary of my will. The funds have an open beneficiary mandate and as such it is whom I authorize to act on my behalf that the bank will recognize and release the funds to, Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.
Please reply me through these my private email Address with your details started Below:firstname.lastname@example.org
(1) Full Name
(6) Phone & Fax Number
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Mrs. Asiya Harlow Al Silaimani