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:
- 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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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 (Yahoo, United Kingdom; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Miriam George" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 20:51:21 GMT
Subject: My Beloved One
My Beloved One,
Greetings to you and your family in the name of God, in my search for a reliable and God fearing person and having gotten your contact through prayers and pains taking efforts via searching I made on the internet on my bed side. I have a proposal for you, this however is not mandatory nor will I in any manner compel you to honors against your will. I am Mrs. Miriam George Scott from Jordan. I am married to Mr. George Scott who worked with Jordan Embassy in Republic du Benin for Thirteen years, before he died in the year 2008. We were married for eleven years without a child. 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 re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $5.5 Million United State dollars in a bank here in Republic du Benin. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Six months due to cancer problem. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to charity homes, Orphanage or good person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want a organization or good person that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained.
l took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not in good tense not even good at all because they are the one that killed my husband in order to have all my late husband properties and I don't want my husband's efforts to be misused 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. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't 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 bank contact in Benin Republic. I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you as the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the organization to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy human kind. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another organization or good person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here in. I am hoping to receive your response immediately. Email to contact me directly (email@example.com) and also attach in your return mail your personal details for familiarity.
1. Your Full Names
2. Your Address
3. Your Marital Status
4. Occupation and Age
5. Your Mobile Numbers/Fax
6. Your International Passport/Driving License.
Hoping to hear from you soonest and do notify your interest to proceed and help me assist charity ones. May the good Lord bless you and be with you.
Thanks and Remain blessed.
Mrs. Miriam George Scott