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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Madeline Howard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Madeline Howard <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 00:54:33 +0900 (JST)
Subject: DONATION FOR less-privileged
DONATION FOR less-privileged PLEASE ENDEAVOUR TO USE IT ON LESS-PRIVILEGES, ORPHANAGES AND CHARITY HOME I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart. I am (Mrs.) Madeline Howard a widow to late Wright Howard, I am 63 years old, suffering from long time Cancer of the breast. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't live more than 2 months according to my doctors. I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr. Wright Howard, the sum of (USD$2.500.000,00) which he deposited in a bank here and I need a very honest and God fearing person that can use these funds for Charity work, helping the Less Privileges, and 30% of this money will be for your time and effort, while 70% goes to charities. 1: For the sick, less-privileged 2: For the Widows and the motherless babies 3: Orphanage or Charity Home I look forward to your prompt reply for more details.
Yours sincerely. Mrs. Madeline Howard