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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million british pounds" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: JUDITH GREENSLADE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Aug 2011 09:59:43 +0200
Subject: DEARESTONE IN THE LORD
Greetings From: Mrs. Judith Greenslade.
May this year be a song of thanksgiving, an offering of praise, a celebration of God's love in his amazing grace, a joyous year to you and your family.
There comes a moment in the life of a man or woman when good news are all there is for a revival of the soul and body, such a moment has come today by sending you this message without knowing each other, but you should understand that our bible tells us God will make a way where there seems to be no way as he works in ways we cannot see. According to the book of "Mark 10:21" Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come and follow me.
I am the above named person but now undergoing medical treatment.I am married to Dr. William Greenslade (Jnr) who worked with British Judicial Commission in Chelsea England for over a decade before he died on 5th of July in the year 2009. We were married for fifteen years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for two weeks. When my late husband was alive he deposited a large funds (£6.3million British pounds sterling) with a prime Bank in london. Presently, this money is still with the Bank. My doctors told me that I have serious sickness which is Cardiac problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness Having known my condition, I decided to entrust this fund to your hand as to enable you utilize this fund according to God's direction because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity upon vanity. The purpose of this fund is stated below,
1. To help the orphanages,
2. To help the widows,
3. Propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
Remain Blessed always.
Mrs. Judith Greenslade