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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sarah Welsh" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 17 Feb 2011 04:58:28 -1200
Subject: CAN YOU HANDLE THIS PROJECT? EHFHIJGPEK
My Dear Beloved,
I am Mrs. Sarah Welsh, an English woman who is suffering from cancerous
ailment. I am married to Sir Jim Welsh who also is an Englishman though
My husband worked with the Nigeria Railways for over two decade before
the cold hand of death took him away on the 23rd of July 2003 at about
2:00AM. our marriage lasted for over a decade without any fruit of the
Womb. My husband died after a protracted illness we made a vow to uplift
the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals within the United
Kingdom, Europe, North and South America, Africa and the rest of the
globe as he had passion for persons who cannot help themselves due to
physical disability or financial predicament. I can adduce this to the
fact that he needed a child from this relationship, which never came.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $10 000,000,00
(Ten Million Dollars) with a bank in Nigeria.
Presently, this money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told
me that I have a limited or numbered days on earth and that my life
span will not exceed 150days due to the cancerous problems I am suffering
Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to
the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family, and me I
have decided to donate this fund to a on-governmental, or a non Religious,
and or a non profit organization or better still an individual, that will
utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. This gift,
which comes from my husbands sweat to fund the upkeep of widows, Widowers,
orphans, destitute, the downtrodden, physically challenged children,
barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.
It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth.I took this decision
because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband
relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons And I do not want my husband
hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived
ventures or be used 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 with the almighty when I eventually pass
on. The Almighty will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I do not
need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating
health and because of the presence of my husband relatives around me. I
do not want them to know about this development, with God all things are
possible. As soon as I receive your reply in my private email:
Full name and Address,
I will give you the contact of the bank in Nigeria for the claim of the fund. I
will also issue you a Certificate of Deposit that will empower you as the
original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that I lived a life
worthy of emulation. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a non-governmental,
or a non religious, and or a non profit organization on or better still an
individual for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein. Hope to hear
from you soon and God bless you and members of your family.
Mrs. Sarah Welsh.