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: "Farah Mustafa" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2011 08:07:41 +0100
Subject: Re: hola.
My name is Farah Mustafa from Kuwait; I am married to late Mohammed Mustafa of blessed memory who worked
with Kuwait embassy in Sudan for nine years before he died in the year 2008. We were married for eleven years
without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both very
devoted Muslims. Since his death I too have been battling with both cancer and fibroid problems. When my late
husband was alive he deposited the sum of $6.5M with an oversea private security and holding firm.
Presently, this money is still with the private security and holding firm.Recently, my Doctor told me that I would
not last for the next three months due to cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to either a Muslim organization or devoted Muslim
individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here- in. I want this Muslim organization or
individual to use this money in all sincerity to fund mosques, orphanages, widows and also propagating the word
of ALLAH and to ensure that the society upholds the views and beliefs of the holy Quran.
The holy Quran emphasized so much on ALLAH'S benevolence and this has encouraged me to take this bold step.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are nothing
to write home about and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by people I call unbelievers.
I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an unholy manner. Hence the reason for taking this bold
decision. I know that after death I will be with ALLAH the most beneficent and the most merciful. I don't need any
telephone communication in this regard because of my health and the presence of my husband's relatives around me
always. I don't want them to know about this development.
With ALLAH all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Security Company.
I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the original- beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the Muslim
community where you reside to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived a life of a true devoted Muslim worthy of emulation.
Whoever that wants to serve the ALLAH must serve him in truth and in fairness.
Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing For a Muslim organization or
a devoted Muslim for this same purpose. Until I hear from you, my dreams will rest squarely on your shoulders. May the almighty
ALLAH continue to guide and protect you.
Mrs. Farah Mustafa