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 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Hanna Fernandez" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 19 Sep 2010 05:10:43 -0300
My name is Mrs. Hanna Fernandez, widow to late Mr. Hadad Fernandez former
owner of Al Hassan Petroleum and Gas Company, here in Qatar. I am 68years old,
suffering from long time cancer of the breast. From all indications my
condition is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't
than 2 months according to my doctors. This is because the cancer stage has
gotten to a very bad stage. I dont want your pity but I need your trust.
My late husband died early last year from heart attack, and during the period
of our marriage we couldn't produce any child. My late husband was
and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth. The doctor has
advised me that I will not live for more than 2 months, so I have now decided
to spread all my wealth to contribute mainly to the development of charity in
Africa, America, Asia, Europe and Haiti.
Am sorry if you are embarrassed by my mail, I found your e-mail
address in the
web directory, and I have decided to contact you, but if for any reason you
find this mail offensive, you can ignore it and please accept my apology.
Before my late husband died he was a major oil tycoon, in Qatar and deposited
the sum of $125, 000, 000, 00 million dollars (One Hundred and Twenty Five
million dollars) in a company some years ago, thats all I have left now,
having know my condition, I decided to establish communication in asking or
need you to collect this funds and distribute it yourself to
charities. So that
when I die my soul can rest in peace. The funds will be entirely in your hands
and management. I hope God gives you the wisdom to touch very many lives that
is my main concern.
30% of this money will be for your time and effort and 70% goes to charity
like I have stated.
Please kindly get back to me if you will assist me or not in carrying out the
good work of God, respond back with your contact details below.
Thanks as I wait your urgent response,Kindly send email to me with my private
God bless you.
Mrs. Hanna Fernandez