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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 us 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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "(Mrs) SURAT SHINAWATRA" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 29 Mar 2013 23:27:14 +0700
Subject: MAY GOD BLESS YOU !!!!
A CONTRIBUTION FOR THE WORK OF GOD.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, I am (Mrs) Surat Shinawatra, a widow to Late Nishita Shinawatra, I am 74years old, I am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast, from all indications,that my condition is really deteriorating and is quite obvious that I won't live more than six months,because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.
My late husband was killed his business associate,and during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth.The doctor has advised me that I may not live for more than six months, so I now decided to divide part of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the church in Asia,Africa America and Europe.
I selected your church after visiting the website and I prayed over it, I am willing to donate the sum of US$5,000 000.00(Five Million US Dollars) to your Church for the development of your church and also for the less privileged. Please I want you to note that, this fund is laying in a Bank here in Thailand, for that my lawyer will file in application for the transfer of the money in the name of your ministry.
Lastly I honestly pray that this money when transferred will be used for the said purpose, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity upon vanity.Please, do not reply me if you have the intention of using this fund for personal use, than enhancement of the comfort of the Handicapped .Lastly, I want you/your home to be praying for me as regards my entire life and my health because I have come to find out since my spiritual rebirth lately that wealth acquisition without God in one's life is vanity upon vanity.Alleluyah,If you have to die says the Lord, keep fit and I will give you the crown of life.
Please If I reach you as I am hopeful I will, endeavor to get back to me as soon as possible to enable my LAWYER conclude the legal duty,you should forward along
your current telephone and Fax numbers, your current mailing address. Also to be sent to me is the biodata page of your international passport or drivers licence
as a proper identification.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you.You can reach me on my alternative email box easily: firstname.lastname@example.org
I await your soonest reply as you could.
Yours in Christ
(Mrs) SURAT SHINAWATRA