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:
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Grace Juli Bright" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2011 15:35:14 +0200
Subject: YOU ARE A BLESSING
It is by the grace of God that I received Christ, having known the truth, I had no choice than to do what is right in the sight of God for eternal life I am Mrs Grace Juli Bright, age 61 and the wife of Mr George Morris Bright ,I am from south Africa, my husband worked as Senior Engineer with the Chevron/Texaco for twenty years before he died in the year 2003. We were married for twenty-nine years without a child.
My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians and since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home . When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US $12.7M.(Twelve Million Seven Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars) with a Finance Company in Nigeria. Presently, this money is still with the Finance Company and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to sign for the release of this money or rather issue power of attorney to someone to receive it.
Presently, I'm in Bupa Cromwell Hospital in United Kingdom where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the breast. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see that this money is distributed to charity organizations anywhere in the World. Because relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them. Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me Stand and collect the Funds from the Finance Company.
I want a person that is God fearing that will use this money to fund churches, orphanages widows and disaster Victims in the World, propagating the word of God and to ensure 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 do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I do not want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I do no t want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. I just want you to be open minded and help me so that my funds can make impact and effect changes to some lesa previlege lives.
For me, I am not afraid of death because I know where I am going. I know I will be resting 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 do not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my deafness and soundless voice as a result of my illness and because my husband's relatives always around my bed side. With God all things are possible. I wait your reply as soon as possible, remember to indicate (1) Your Full Name, (2) Your Contact Address (3) Your Telephone and Fax Number (4) Your Age and What You Do for a Living, as soon as I receive this information from you, I will forward it to my attorney who will prepare the power of attorney and help you process the payment from the Security and Finance Company. God Bless You.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Grace Juli Bright.