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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Victoria Solomon <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 16:24:25 +0800 (CST)
Subject: Mrs Victoria Solomon (writing from Chu De General Hospital)
Dearest in Christ.
greetings to you, grace and peace to you from God our father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age,
I am Mrs.Victoria Solomon a German citizen by birth, I'm married to Engineer Solomon Patrick from England whom until his death served and was a licensed Miner as the Chairman of Periling Diamond Mining Company here in Republic of Ivory Coast. We were married for years but we have no child, He died four days after a conference meeting he went to France,as a result of poison according to doctor report,
The death of my late husband actually brought sorrow to my life because he is the only one i have, since then I have been suffering for Cancer disease,the one that is disturbing me too much is Stroke sickness ,presently I'm hospitalized where I am undergoing treatment for an upcoming stomach cancer surgery operation
When my late husband was a life he deposited the sum ($4.500,000.00)Four million five hundred thousand United State Dollars in a Finance Security company here in the Capital city Abidjan -Cote D' Ivoire, my husband deposited the fund with a trunk box as "family Valuable and treasure "for security reason
Having known my condition i decided to donate this fund to any christian organization or individual that can utilize this money as I instruct herein.use this fund to build a church,support the poor Orphans and widows,is a vow I make to God.
I took this decision because I was raised from a motherless baby's home and I don't have any child that will inherit this fund, And I don't want this money to be used in an unGodly ways. This is why I took this decision to hand this Fund over to you for enlistment of God works,
I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this divine mission,as i don't want anything that will jeopardize my last wish.I want you to always remember me in your daily prayers because of my up coming major heart surgery operation. Write back as soon as possible because any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another God fearing person or church for this same purpose.
Mrs Victoria Solomon