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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Charity Johnson" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 26 Mar 2012 04:58:12 -0000
Greetings in the name of God,Pls let this not sound strange to you. I
am Mrs. Charity Johnson from Benin,I am 64 years old,i am deaf and
suffering from a long time cancer of the breast which also affected my
brain,according to my doctors they have advised me that i may not live for
the next two months,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a
very bad stage. I was brought up from a motherless babies home was
married to my late husband for twenty years without a child ,died in a fatal
motor accident.I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the
sum of $6million dollars with a Finance Bank in Benin.Presentl, I'm
with my laptop in a hospital where 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
invested to any organisation of your choice and distributed each year
among the charity organization,the poor and the motherless babies home
where i come from.I want you use this money to fund churches, orphanages
and widows,I took this decision, before i rest in peace because my time
will soon be up.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the
Bank. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I
stated herein. Hoping to hearing from you soon.
Yours in Christ
Mrs Charity Johnson