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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS RUTH SCHOCH" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 19 Apr 2011 19:26:49 +0100
Subject: Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am Mrs. Ruth schoch, A widow to Late Mr. John schoch, I am 73years old, and I am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time, cancer of the ear. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't live long according to my doctors.
This is because my cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. My late husband was killed during the U.S raid, against terrorism in Afghanistan when he traveled to Afghanistan to monitor a Hospital/a Humanitarian Found at (HHF) he was setting up for the benefit of the Afghan masses as of then; whose majority and 99 percent of them are Muslims/ Islamic scholars and loyalists.
During the period of our marriage we couldnt produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his businesses and wealth, and when I noticed that my condition is not improving rather it gets worsen by the day I decided to divide part of this wealth, to contribute to Charity and the development of the churches in Africa, America, Asia and Europe. I selected you after visiting the internet and I prayed over it. I am willing to donate the fund to you for charity, the less privileged, churches, orphanages and widows, Propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.
I took this decision upon myself because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. Because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity upon vanity.
Please I want you to note that this fund is deposited with security company for security purpose. And upon my instruction, you will file in an application for the transfer of the fund in your name with the security company. May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and your family.
Await Your Urgent Reply via this e-mail address:(email@example.com) any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church, another person or Christian individual for this same purpose.
Yours in Christ.
MRS. Ruth schoch