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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: linda johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 16:56:53 +0100
DEAR BELOVED FRIEND,
I AM MOTHER LINDER JOHNSON FROM NETHERLAND, A WIDOW TO LATEPATRICK
COLE I AM 61 YEARS OLD, I AM A NEW CHRISTAIN CONVERT SUFFERING FROM
LONG TIME CANCER OF THE BREAST. ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY
DETERIORATING AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I WOUDN'T LIVE MORE THAN
THREE MONTHS ACCORDING TO MY
DOCTORS,AND IN ALL INDICATION REGARDS TO MEDICAL ANALYSIS. THIS IS
BECAUSE THE CANCER HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE THAT NO HOPE FOR ME
TO BE A LIVING PERSON AGAIN.
MY LATE HUSBAND DIED DURING THE HURRICANE DISASTER IN NEW ORLEANS,AND
DURING THE PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE COULD NOT PRODUCE ANY CHILD. MY
LATE HUSBAND WAS VERY WEALTHY AND AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS
BUSINESS AND WEALTH.
THE DOCTORS HAS ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN THREE
MONTHS, SO I NOW DECIDED TO DIVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH, TO
CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH IN AFRICA, AMERICA ASIA
AND EUROPE ESPECAILLY CREATE SOLUTION TO PROBLEM OF LESS PREVILLAGED
ONES AND ORPHANAGE HOMES.
I SELECTED YOU AFTER VISITING THE WEBSITE I PRAYED AND FASTED FOR
THREE WEEKS OVER IT WITH ADVISE OF MY PASTOR,I AM WILLING TO DONATE
THE SUM OF $8.5M U.S DOLLARS, TO THE LESS PREVILLEGED. PLEASE I WANT
YOU TO NOTE THAT THE FUND IS LYING IN A SECURITY COMPANY AND UPON MY
INSTRUCTION, MY ATTORNEY WHO IS PRESENTLY IN ENGLAND WILL FILE IN AN
APPLICATION FOR THE TRANSFER OF THE MONEY IN YOUR NAME.
LASTLY, I HONESTLY PRAY THAT THIS MONEY WHEN TRANSFERRED WILL BE USED
FOR THE SAID PURPOSE EVEN THOUGH I'M LATE THEN, BECAUSE I HAVE COME TO
FIND OUT THAT WEALTH ACQUISITION WITHOUT CHRIST IS VANITY AND I MADE
THE PROMISE TO GOD THAT THE FUND WILL BE USED TO BUILD HIS TEMPLE.
MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF
GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY
AWAIT YOUR REPLY..
GOD BLESS YOU.
MOTHER LINDER JOHNSON