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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.Helen Saleh" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 26 Nov 2016 15:18:46 +0300
Subject: Re: Missionary Work
Greetings to you blessed one!.'
As you read through my message, I do not want you to feel pity or sorry for me, for I believe someday,somehow, we will all surely die, this is about mine, and a last wish. My name is Mrs. Helen Saleh, I am a 75 years old woman. I am diagnosed of Cancer of the Larynx and it is terminal, medical science can not do anything for me at this stage. I believe in miracles, however I prefer to pass on at this stage since I am bed ridden and in constant pain. Before this happened my business and concern for making money was all I lived for.
I never really cared about other values in life. But since my present situation, I have found a new desire to assist helpless families. I have been helping orphans in orphanage/motherless homes. I have once donated some money to orphans in war ravaged Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan and some East European countries, African. Having known my condition I decided to entrust my last funds I have deposited in Turkey (USD$2,000,000.00) to either a philanthropic or devoted individual that will use his judgement to distribute the money to charity organizations and feel free to reimburse yourself when you have the money, for any cost you incur during the process of collecting and distributing the money to charity organizations.
I am presently in the Hospital and cannot go home since i don't have anyone to care for me because ever since my husband died, My In-laws have been fighting against me so they can have all that my husband left for me, I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only few months to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations, because I don't have any child and my relatives and friends has plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.
Please,help me receive the deposit and distribute it among charity organizations. Since my health is retrogressing by the minute, you will have to send your; (POSTAL ADDRESS,CONTACT PHONE NUMBER AND FAX) and a little details about yourself, because I got your address from the Internet after a thorough search for a trust worthy individual. With the information, I will make arrangement to prepare the authorization through my attorney who knows about this transaction as i tried so much to keep it from my In-laws and friends for you to get possession of the Deposit. I will give you the name and contact of the attorney so you can work with him to enable him change the legal documents to your name and direct you to the Bank where this fund is lodged in London thereafter.
Until I hear from you,I pray that this letter bring you and your family good tidings.
Please reply as soon possible Looking forward to hearing from you soonest.