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 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: JULIET ATTAH <email@example.com>
Reply-To: JULIET ATTAH <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 07:14:37 +0900 (JST)
Subject: DONATION TO YOU
DONATION TO YOU
I am Mrs. Juliet Attah a widow to late Mr. Attah,
I am 64 years old, and I am a new Christian convert, suffering from long time
cancer of the breast. I married my husband for nine years before his sudden
death and since our marriage we could not bear any child of our own. He died
after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Before his death we were both born again
Christian. Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my
matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he
deposited the sum of $4.5 Million United State dollars (Four Million and Five
Hundred thousand U.S. Dollars) in the bank here in a suspense account for
Presently, this money is still in the bank here.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I have seriously sickness which is cancer
problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my
condition I decided to donate this money to a person who has the fear of God to
use this money for charitable organization, orphanages, widows, propagating the
word of God and to Endeavour that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is
the hand that gives. I took this decision because I don't have any child that
will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't
want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don't want a situation
where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this
decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I
am going to be in the bosom of the Lord.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ, Mrs. Juliet Attah