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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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. Cathrine P. Heng" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Feb 2011 08:56:21 +0700
Subject: My Dear
From:Mrs Cathrine Precious
17-19 Solomon Road
I know you would be surprised to read from someone relatively unknown to you before now? I took this decision the way my mind directed me.
My name is Mrs Cathrine Precious, I am married to Eng Mr Johnson Clifford from Haiti. My husband died instantly on January 12 immediately the earthquake struck in our country. I'm the only surviving one, But right now am afraid I might not survive this shock may looking at my present condition.
I am constrained to contact you because of our joint escrow account venture we have $5.4 million (US) dollars which we deposited in one of the Leading bank in Asia. I have the Deposit Certificate here with me in the Hospital, I hide it out because I do not want anybody in this hospital to know about this fund because if they do, They might plan to kill me immediately with hard drugs.
I was brought up as an orphan and was married to my lovely late husband for 35 years without a child and am of age, I am 68 years now. Therefore I want you to use this fund to build Orphanage home on my behalf to bring a help to the Motherless babies and less privileged ones.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money so as soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in Asia and also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the Next of Kin/beneficiary of this fund including the Deposit Certificate.
My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation, whosoever that wants to serve the Almighty must serve him with all his heart, mind,soul and also in truth.
Please assure me that you will act according to my specification herein, Hoping to hear from you at earliest because of my health condition.
Thank you and may the Almighty bless you.Reply to me in my private Email blow.
Mrs Cathrine Precious