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 Alhaadi Milena Fakhi" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 11:57:50 -0700
Subject: Mrs. Alhaadi Milena Fakhi
With due respect trust and humanity I honestly write this mail to you from my heart made these decision to contact you due to the urgency of my situation and let it not be a surprise to you because I strongly believe itís designed from above and there is a purpose for everything under the sun.
I am Mrs. Alhaadi Milena Fakhi from Moosa Abdul Muscat Oman, 49 years young. I am
suffering from a protracted cancer of the lungs which has also affected all the cells as a result of complications. From all indication my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious said my doctor.
I must not fail to let you know that i am a child of circumstance, having been abandoned at birth and taken to an orphanage home where i grew. I was married to my late lovely husband Mr. Milena Fakhi for twenty eight years without a child my husband was asthmatic and died of it.
Since his death I decided not to re-marry when my sickness became terrible, I succeeded in selling off all our personal belongings including a shopping mall, an hotel, shares, houses and other valuable family treasures and deposited the proceeds amounting to USD $10.2million dollars with my BANK. 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 cannot come over and claim the funds due largely to my illness or they get it confiscated.
I am now admitted in an hospital in Ireland, located at Meadow Lane, Port town,Co Armagh,BT62 3NJ,N.UK, It is the leading cancer treatment hospital in the world. while undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. My doctors have 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 it to churches and mosques while 20% of the money is for your personal use as a compensation
As a God fearing person I want you 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.
Do reply me through these my private email Address with your details as listed
(1) Full Name
(6) Phone & Fax Number
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Mrs. Alhaadi Milena Fakhi