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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: aisha david <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 27 Apr 2011 11:58:04 +0100 (BST)
Subject: HELLO MY BELOVED,
HELLO MY BELOVED,
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.
I AM MRS AISHA DAVID FROM FRANCE, A WIDOW TO LATE MR LAZARUS DAVID NOW A NEW CHRISTAIN CONVERT, SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF THE BREAST, FROM ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I WON'T LIVE MORE THAN 2 MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MY DOCTOR, THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE. MY LATE HUSBAND DIED LAST TWO YEARS,AND DURING THE PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE COULD'NT PRODUCE ANY CHILD.
MY LATE HUSBAND WAS VERY WEALTHY AND AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH. THE DOCTOR HAS MADE IT CLEAR TO ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN 2 MONTHS, SO I NOW DECIDED TO DIVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH, TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCHES IN AFRICA, AMERICA ASIA,AND EUROPE. I SELECTED YOU AFTER VISITING THE WEBSITE AND I PRAYED OVER IT. I AM WILLING TO DONATE THE SUM OF $4.500. 000. 00. USD( FOUR MILLION FIVE HONDRED UNITED STATES DOLLARS) TO THE LESS PRIVILEGED.
PLEASE I WANT YOU TO NOTE THAT THE FUND IS LYING IN A SECURITY COMPANY IN ABIDJAN COTE D'IVORIE. ONCE I HEAR FROM YOU, I WILL FORWARD TO YOU ALL THE INFORMATIONS YOU WILL USE TO GET THIS FUND RELEASED FROM THE SECURITY COMPANY AND DELIVER IT TO YOUR ADDRESS IN YOUR COUNTRY AND I HONESTLY PRAY THAT IF THIS MONEY DELIVER TO YOU WILL IT BE SURE FOR THE SAID PURPOSE, BECAUSE I HAVE COME TO FIND OUT THAT WEALTH ACQUISITION WITHOUT CHRIST IS VANITY,
MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. PLS FOR THE SAFETY OF THIS FUND LET IT BE BETWEEN YOU AND MY DOCTOR.
I AWAIT YOUR URGENT REPLY.
YOUR SISTER IN CHRIST.
MRS AISHA DAVID