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:
- ",000,000" (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 merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Bro. James Torres" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 5 Apr 2010 10:34:31 +0100
Subject: It is the will of God to contact you.
God bless you Brethren,
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me because I believe everyone will die someday. My name is Mr. James Torres, a business merchant in Netherlands. I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer which was discovered very late, due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all forms of medicine, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business.I have a huge funds of EURO18,000,000 deposited in form of personal valuables in a Financial Company in Europe. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity organizations as stated below.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I have a limited or numbered days on earth due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from. Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has be fallen me, I have decided to donate this fund to a non-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. I will prefer an individual,that will use this gift which comes from me to fund the up keep of animal shelter homes,destitute, the downtrodden,physically challenged children, and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially. It is often said that blessed is the hand that gives.
I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit my money ,my wife died two years ago and i decided not to get married again and my relatives are bourgeois and I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organizations in any part of the world, they refused and kept the money. I do not want a
situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision.
I am not afraid of death since I know where I am going. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because of the presence of my relatives around me. I do not want them to know about this development.With God all things are possible. 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 an individual for this same purpose. It is the will of God to contact you.
Mr. JAMES TORRES.