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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Victoria Ashley" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 00:28:49 +0200
I am Mrs. Victoria Ashley from Sweden, I saw your contact some days ago, and
after since then I have always prayed over it, I am a widow to late Johnson
Ashley I am suffering from long time cancer. All indication my conditions really
deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I wouldn't live more then two months
according to my doctors and in all indication regard to medical analysis. This
is because the cancer has getting to a very bad stage that no hope.
My late husband died during the hurricane disaster in new china, and during the
period of our marriage we could not produce any child. My late husband was very
wealthy and I inherited all his business and wealth. And after the doctors
advised on my health I have to seek for help. And I decided to divide the part
of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the less privileged once,
especially create solution to problem of orphans' homes. I choose you after
prayers and fasting with the advice of my pastor; I am willing to donate some of
my late husband wealthy to this project.
Please my dear I want to trust you with a project due to my state of health, but
first I want you to give me your word.
By responding to this message, I look forward to your response.
Once again thank you and stay bless.
Mrs. Victoria Ashley.