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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 05:58:34 +0100 (CET)
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE( Contact My Email (
I will like to introduce myself to you and hope that you will understand my position and the reason for this letter.
I am Mrs. Monica Maya Joseph from England, I was married to late Mr. Rufus Joseph the CEO of Rufnic Oil Mining & Exploration, I am 60 years of age, I am currently suffering from a long time cancer which has badly affected my health of late. The cancer has reached a critical stage, so my doctors have courageously advised me to indulge in Prayers as well because it is clear that I would not live past the next two to three months. I was raised in an orphanage Home, and was married to my late husband for twenty years without a child.
My husband and I so much love ourselves that after his death I decided not to re-marry, he died in a fatal motor accident which I believe must have been political motivated because of his venture in the new oil industry. I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum of (Gbp£11, 379,000.00 Pounds) with a finance company. Presently, the money is still with the bank, and I received a letter from the management of the holding bank as the real depositor urging me to come forward to receive the money after leaving it dormant for a long time.
Frankly, I can not come over as a result of my illness; I'm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live.
It is my last wish to see that this money is donated to some Charity organizations and Orphanages. Especially, I need the fund to me used in furthering scientific research on cure and care of cancer patients. I want you to utilize the money in building a cancer research institute. I want a good person with the milk of human kindness to use this money to fund charity works, provide better live for the Needy and Widows, alleviate the suffering of war ravaged countries and those affected by natural disasters.
I must let you know that this was a very hard decision, but I had to take a bold step towards this issue, and I hope you will help see my last wishes come true.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall provide you with information on how to realize my fund from the finance company were it's currently domiciled and utilized it for the purpose of which I contacted you.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. I hope to hear from you soonest if you are willing to handle this project.
Awaiting your urgent reply ASAP. Via my private email ( email@example.com )
Mrs. Monica Maya Joseph.