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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Patrick" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 May 2011 18:41:27 +0700
Subject: Dearest One
My name is Mrs. Susuan Patrick, I am married to (Eng Mr.Pius Patrick) from United Kingdom (U.K) who has an appointment in Tokyo, Japan as the chief Managing director to(Abbes Suzuki Association Tokyo-Japan) under Engineering project/contract awarding section.
My husband died as a result of brief illness called heart attack, while he was coming back from (ASA) new location area on project inspection on Saturday 10th December 2006.Before his death as a result of our joint account venture we have $7.5 million (US) dollars in our fixed deposit account.
Dear one I was brought up as an orphan and was married to my late husband for 5 years without a child and am of age, I am 68years now and am suffering from kidney infection and a long time cancer of the lungs, which has partially affected my brain, and from all indication my condition is really deteriorating.
According to my doctors, my health is very poor because of the cancer ailment, I can not stay to live up three months ahead, and I am having serious problem with my husband's family members.I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my course and I shall hold my peace. Therefore I need a God fearing person who will assure me that he/she will use this fund to help the Motherless babies, Orphanage, Charity organization and less privileged once, and using for word of God.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money. As soon as I receive your reply email@example.com I shall give you the contact of the Bank.I want you to always pray for me because I don't have many days to live.
Yours Mrs. Susuan Patrick