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:
- 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:
- "trunk box" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: stephanie Casidy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 23 Aug 2009 08:08:18 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: God bless you.
My name is Mrs. Stephanie. Cassidy a (Paris) married to Mr. John Cassidy who worked with a FrenchÂ company in Accra Ghana for nine years before he died in the year 2001. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death heÂ we deposited the sum of$3.5Million (Three million five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars) with a deposit Company. Contained in trunk box framed as valuable family belongings. Presently, this money is
Still with the deposit Company..
Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not long due to cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a good individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want a person that will use this fund to orphanages, Research centers and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.Â Blessed is the hand that giveth.
I took this decision because I donât have any child that will inherit this money and my husbandâs relatives are not good and I donât want my family hard earned money to be misused. I donât want a situation where this money will be used in a bad manner. Hence the reason for taking this bold 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. I donât need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health because of the presence of my family relatives around me always.
I donât want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the pacific deposit Company... I will also inform the Trust company to issue you a letter of authority that will
Empower you as the new beneficiary of this trunk box because they do not know the exact contents. I want you and the family to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd . Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here. Hoping to hearing from you soonest through this email address
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
And please take note that the deposit company does not know the trunk box content money. As registered it as valuable family belongings.
Sister Stephanie Cassidy.
NB: PLEASE REPLY THROUGH (email@example.com)FOR PROCEEDURE .