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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ellen Heuman" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 5 Nov 2010 01:46:59 +0100
It is by his grace that i received God, having known the truth; i had know choice than to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of Gods mercy and glory upon my life.
I am Ellen Heuman wife of Pieter Heuman, my husband worked with Shell Netherlands for twenty years before he died in the year 2008. We were married for twenty-seven years without a child. My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians.
Since his death i decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which our lord is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited some amount of money with a security firm in Europe.
Presently, this money is still with the firm and the management just informed me as the beneficiary to come forward to sign for the release of the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if i can not come over. Presently, i am in a hospital where i have been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors told me that i have only a few months to live.
It is my last wish to see this money distributed among charity organizations any where in the World. Because 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.
Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me collect the money from the security firm. I want a person that is God fearing that will use this money to assist orphanages and widows propagating the word of God. I took this decision because i don not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not God fearing and i don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers in an ungodly manner.
Hence the reason for taking this bold 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. I don not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my soundless voice and presence of my husband's relatives around me always and i don't want them to know about this development.
As soon as i receive your reply i shall give you the contact of my lawyer who is in Europe, he will be the one to assist you in the collection of the money from the security firm.
Yours in the Lord,