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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "but i feel quite safe dealing with you" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Judith Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Jul 2011 15:48:13 -0600
Subject: Read and bee beless
I apologize if the contents in this mail are contrary to your moral ethics which I feel may be of great disturbance to your personal life, but I feel quite safe dealing with you. Though this medium (Internet) has been greatly abused, I choose to reach you through it because it remains the fastest, surest and most secured medium of communication. However, this correspondence is purely private, and it should be treated as such. I am contacting you based on trust and confidentiality. I have reposed higher confidence in your ability to handle this matter perfectly for my sake. I am serious minded person. I am the above named person from Liberia. I am married to Mr. Greg Williams Shumejda who worked with Embassy here in London for nine years before he died in the year 2003. 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 born again Christian. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $2.Million (Two Million U.S. Dollars) a financial Vault. Presently, this money is still in a financial Vault. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to keep this fund in the vault. I want an organization or an individual that will use this fund for orphanages, widows, propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are n
ot Christians and I don't want my
This is why I am taking this decision. 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 case and I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall inform the financial Vault in London that you are the beneficiary of the said fund so that they will need to contact you for the releasing of the fund to you.
I will introduce you to my family lawyer that will prepare an authorization letter of claiming the funds without any attorney fee. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply and Remain blessed in the Lord. Please send me your complete information, to enable me send over to my family attorney. You are not going to pay my family lawyer because i have already taken care of him concerning this project.
(1). Full names:
(2). contact address:
(4). Cell phone:
Mrs. Judith Williams