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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: JANE ALEX <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 18 Sep 2010 15:17:43 -0700
Subject: Dear Beloved,
How are you? I am sure that you will be surprise to receive my email since I have not met you for the first time. I wanted to do something that I know will be good to God and Humanity.Though there are lots of scams going on the internet but I still feel comfortable writing to you.
What I am going to let you know now may sound very unbelievable, but I don't care how it sound but that is what I intend doing and I will want to do it through you.Well, My name is Mrs. Jane Alex .I now live In Cambridgeshire Let me Take you down to a little about my history. I am a self-employed consultant and a board member of the Nene Housing,I am a dying woman who had decided to donate what I have to poor and for the purpose of Charity through you.
You may be wondering why I chose you, I entered into the web to search for a reliable profile that sooth my heart and my Mind, tells me you are the right person for what I want to do. And I am doing this on trust because I know I may live or I may not but I have to leave a legacy behind.
I am 69 years old now and was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago,briefly after the death of my husband Mr. Alex Pitt who had left me everything he worked for. I have been touched by God to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for the good work of God, rather Than allow my Relatives to use my husband`s hard earned
I have asked God to forgive me of all my sins and I believe he has,because He is a merciful God,I will be going in for a radioactive Surgery in two weeks time, and I pray that I survive the operation. I have decided to will/donate the sum of GBP6,000.00(Six Million Great Britain Pounds) my husband wish is for the good work of the God to be on, and to help the motherless,! less privileged and also for the assistance of the widows in Your Church, and organization.
At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls, but can reply emails due to the fact that my relatives are around me and I have been restricted by my doctor from taking telephone calls because I deserve all the rest I Can get before the surgery.
So please don't worry about me okay because in case I lost my life, I will be smiling at the poor for at least I have tried to touch their life so preciously through you.
Presently, I have informed my lawyer Barrister Harrison Artwel Working with Harrison Artwel & Co.Associate Chambers in London about my decision in willing this fund to you. I wish you all the best and may the good God bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others.
Kindly reply me with the below details of yours through this email address:firstname.lastname@example.org Please if you can help then contact me back,so that i will apply to the bank on your behalf for immediate Transfer and release of this inheritance funds to you as the rightful beneficary of the said money.
VERIFICATION AND FUNDS RELEASE REQUEST FORM.
1. Full Name:..............
5. Tel No........................
6. Mobile Phone no----------------
6.Date Of Birth....................
Further more you should remove 40% for the expenses you may incur on trying to get the money transfer to you and your assistance if you will love to assist, I Am now too weak and fragile to do things myself due to my state of health.
NB:I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality (Keep it within you)in this matter until the task is accomplished. I don`t want anything that will jeopardize my last wish, due to the fact that I do not want my relatives or family members standing in the way of my last wish.
Mrs.. Jane Alex (BA Hons