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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Cheryl Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 14:56:15 +1000
Subject: Greetings In The Name Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
Greetings In The Name Of Our Lord Jesus Christ.
I am Mrs.Cheryl Williams, a widow to late
Richard A. Williams, I am 75 yrs old,I am a Born
Again Christian , suffering from long time
Breast Cancer, from all indication my condition
is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious
that I won't live more than two weeks ,
According to my doctors.This is because the
cancer stage has gotten to a very dangerous stage and has blown out.
My late husband killed during the U.S raid
against terrorism in Afghanistan,and during the
period of our marriage without child. My late
husband was very wealthy and after his death I
inherited all his business and wealth.
My late husband relatives are wishing me death
because all they are Concerned about is my Late
Husband Wealth. They want me to die so that they
can be able to claim all that my late husband
left behind before he died. Simply because I did
not had another child for my late husband after
my first child died, and they called me all sort
of names, Like (BARREN WOMEN), they even said
that I killed my husband but only God In Heaven
can bear me witness on that because God knows I
cannot kill. I want you to claim this fund and
use it to help the poor and less privileged in
your country instead of my late husband relative
to have access to this fund, I rather hand it
over to somebody who understand my pains and
ready care of the fund and also to use it help
people who desire's help and to Win Souls into
the Kingdom of God. Because if this fund get to
my late husband relatives, they will Misuse the
fund for an unworthy act. I am doing this
because This is my Mission on Earth as God has
directed me to you, more also my
I have divided some part of this wealth, to
contribute to the development of the church in
Africa, America, Asia and also in Europe. I
prayed over it, and I am willing to donate on
your behalf, the total sum of Five Million Great
Britain Pounds (GBP£5,000, 000.00) to be used
for the Poor, the Less Privilege, the Charity
Organization and the Orphanage Home.
My attorney, will file in an application for the
transfer of the money in your name. Lastly, I
honestly pray that this money when transferred
will be used 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. I await your urgent reply.
Please kindly get back to me on my private email
address (Mrs.Cheryl_Williams@w.cn) if you are
willing to help for further details and directive.
Yours In Christ,