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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Redjeki" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 Sep 2010 23:35:46 +0800
Subject: For Your Attention.
I will first and foremost apologize for contacting you using this medium and also for any inconveniences this email might bring to you due to the nature of the content of this letter coming from a person without referral and because of the way people have misused this medium over the years, but please read and objectively consider if you can help me.
However, permit me to introduce myself to you properly I am Mrs.Redjeki Soemarjoto,former State Secretary of Womens Empowerment of Indonesia. I lost my Husband in the Indonesian passenger jet that overshot the runway and burst into flames as it landed in the cultural capital of Yogyakarta.
My Friend, it was really a tragedy for me loosing my husband so early.He has always been there as long as I could remember. That's when it hit me. A feeling I've never lost. A feeling as deep as my soul. A feeling that's as much a part of me today as on that day. Sorrow. My life was suddenly dissected, and a large piece of it was gone.
I would sit for hours on my bed, staring out the bedroom door, waiting and really believing that at any moment my husband would walk around the corner and life would go on. But he never came.Instead of answers I was left only with sorrow.
Presently,i am writing you this email from my hospital bed .I have been diagnosed with Cancer problem and from all the test conducted on my health, my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious according to my doctors i will not live long,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.
Just recently i receieve an email from one of my late Husband lawyer telling me that,my husband have an account worth (3.5 Million United States Dollar) in another country.
So since i am the true Beneficiary of my late husband WILL.That i have to come forward immediately and receive this Money from the Bank where this money is been Deposited.Because the bank has issued a notice that they will confiscated or declaredthe account unserviceabl.They said i should issuse a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over because of my illness or they get it sophisticated.
Having known my condition i have decided to seek for your assistance in helping me to secure the release of this Money from the Bank that it was deposited to your own Bank account in your country and use it the way i am going to instruct you in helping the Motherless babies ones in our society.
He said it was the wish of my late husband to run a Humanitarian project for the Motherless babies with this money by the time he officially retires which never came to pass as he died before retirement.In his last WILL before he die,he has instructed me to use this Money for Humanitarian Services.
My friend,i want you to know that i took this decision because of the way my relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them.I don't want my husband's hard earned money WILLED to me to be misused or taken from me by my late husband wicked brothers and use it for their own selfish interest and in an ungodly manner.
My husband relatives have kept me under pains and sorrows just to know the where about of this said fund,after they have neglected me and has well denied me of my late husband properties and his bank accounts.
I know you will be surprise to receive this great request from me and you will be wondering why i choose you.Well,with my current illness which could take my life at any moment, I have no choice but to entrust you with this PROJECT and help me to accomplish this dream of my late husband.
As soon as you notify me of your willingness to assist me,in my next mail I shall give you the contact information of my late husband Lawyer,who will help you on how to go about receiving this money with the necessary document to your bank account in your country.A letter of authority will also be issued to the Bank by the attorney authorizing them that the money have been willed to you and a copy of such authorization will be forwarded to you.
I want you to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived a true devoted life worthy of emulation and whoever that wants to serve God must serve him in truth and in fairness. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
My Friend,until I hear from you, my dreams will rest squarely on your shoulders.
May God continue to guide and protect you and your family.