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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Janet" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 29 Mar 2012 06:09:42 -0700
Subject: Mrs. Janet Mucha (widow) *
With love of God and humanity, I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart. My name is Mrs Janet Mucha; my late husband Mr. Moris Mucha, worked with Cote d`Ivoire embassy here in Benin 22 years before his death, we were married for 32years without a child and He died after a brief illness that lasted for only few days. I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which my religion is against. When my husband was alive he deposited the sum of $5.5Million USD with one of the bank here.
Recently I have my test report that my liver has been damage due to cancer affection. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to help the orphanages around the world through you the way I am going to instruct here in. I want you to use this fund to help the Orphanages, widows, les-privilege to have there lifes a meaning, and to endeavour that the house of God is maintained. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not good at all because they are the one that killed my husband in order to have my entire late husband`s properties and I don't want my husband's efforts to be inherited by unbelievers. I don't want a situation whereby my husband inheritance will be used in an ungodly way.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to receive your response immediately
Mrs. Janet Mucha (widow)