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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- "foreign exchange" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Joan Jacobs." (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 20:55:42 +0700
Subject: [****SPAM****] Read in Good Heart,
Greetings to you and your Family and I hope you all are doing great.
I'm sorry to disturb you with my predicaments but this email is
coming to you because of your engagement and contribution in the
house of God and also your Contribution in the Society.
I am Mrs. JOAN JACOBS from United States of America , widow and I was
married to late Mr. JACOBS MARTINEZ of America , the CEO of JACOBS
FREETY CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES. I am 61 years old, strong in faith and
committed to Christian work. Presently I am suffering from a long time
cancer of the breast which has affected my entire body system after
like Three different surgeries . The cancer has reached a critical
stage according to report, so my doctors have courageously informed
me that I would not live past the next two to three months even
though I still believe in the miracle power of our Lord Jesus. I was
raised in an orphanage Home, and was lucky to be married to my late
husband for twenty-eight years without a child.
My husband and I are true Christians and so after his death I decided
not to re-marry; he died in a fatal auto crash in October 2011. After
the death of my husband, I sold all my inherited belongings from him
and deposited all the cash proceeds amounting to $28,150,000.00 USD
(Twenty Eight Million, One Hundred And Fifty Thousand United States
Dollars, with a Bank because I could not function effectively to
invest into businesses or look after my late husbands business after
his death due to my ill health.
Presently, the money is deposited with a commercial Bank, and I have
received a letter from the management of the holding bank urging me to
come forward and run the account deposit having kept it for such a
long period of time or rather invest the proceeds into Foreign
Exchange Stocks or real estate business with the bank, this was the
advice of my account officer. But honestly I am not willing and not
healthy enough to look into it since I do not have much time to spend
here on earth as a result of my illness hence my decision to DONATE
the funds to CHARITY AND THE LESS PRIVILEGED. I have been undergoing
treatment for some months now but there has been no improvement.
It is my last wish to see that this money is invested into a
CHARITABLE ORGANIZATION which will be named after me JOAN JACOBS
CHILD CARE FOUNDATION; So I am seeking for a God fearing person who
will also use part of this money to support the Gospel and the
Churches, the Needy and Widows in the aged homes. I must tell you
that this was a very hard decision, but I had to take a bold step
towards this since I have no life left in me anymore, and I hope you
will help me see my last wishes come true. Some of this money will
also be used to take care of Elderly Women (less privileged ones) who
are suffering from cancer of the early stages.
If you are willing to take up on this project, please contact me
urgently so that I will write my WILL to appoint you as my next of
kin (Administrator) to my estate which will be used to establish the
JOAN JACOBS CHILD WELFARE FOUNDATION.
You must assure me that you will act accordingly as I have stated
herein. I hope to hear from you soonest if you are willing to help
the less privileged amongst us and accomplishing my last wishes.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Joan Jacobs.