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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million united states 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Leona Smith <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Jul 2012 12:23:55 +0000
Subject: Dearest in the God
Dearest in the God May the love of God remain constantly In your side, be gracious to you and let his holy face shine on you this Year. May the holy spirit go before you to direct you and guide you. I am Mrs Leona Smith,a Syrian woman suffering from cancerous ailment in Hospital of United Kingdom I am married to Mr.Nicolas Smith, my husband worked with Chevron Corporation in Malaysia ( Asia continent ) for twenty years and retired since 2008 before the UPRISING IN SYRIA claimed him to DEATH at the age of 61 years on 15th of May 2011 after a bomb explosion in Damascus.Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home due to our tradition.Muslims dominate this nation of Syria with 22 million people, but Christians can be found at all levels of Syria's government, business community and military. The 2 million Christians in Syria trace their roots to ancient communities and have survived under many rulers as Christian enclaves in other Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, have withered.However, is the plight of Christians. Also MIA in American media coverage is an explanation of who exactly the resistance fighters are in Syria, as we Christians in Syria live in uneasy alliance with President Bashar Assad, Alawites.My husband and I prepared a blueprint for establishing a Foundation that would be directed towards helping the needy in our society. This plan was still in the incubation stage rearing for activation before the UPRISING IN SYRIA claimed him to DEATH and now left me in this debilitating state. My late husband deposited the sum of $10 Million ( TEN MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) with a Finance Security House in Asia when he was working with Chevron Company . Presently this money is still there I am writing from my sick bed.I am looking for a credible person to whom I will pass the right of next of kin. Although we have not met before, I got your email address on International Business Directory and my confidence reposed on you. I hope you read this message carefully and reply me immediately.Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited weeks to live due to the stroke and cancerous problems I am suffering from. I have decided to donate this funds to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husband's effort to fund the upkeep of Widows, Orphans, Motherless Babies and Disables In your country.In other words, you shall take 30% and utilize 70% of this funds for social work as i stated but in our names: MRS LEONA SMITH - NICOLAS FOUNDATION. I can not predict what will be my faith by the time the funds will be transferred into your account, You have to assure me that you will use the Funds according to my instructions and to keep this matter confidential until when this funds get to your personal account in your country.Your interest to executing this assignment for the sake of the needy in your country would interest me most as I am convinced that I have only few weeks to stay here on earth. If this condition is acceptable by you, please contact me immediately with your :(1) Full Names,(2) Residential Address,(3) Mobile number,(4) Age(5) Occupation.I do not want my husband hard earned money to be misused, I want you to always pray for me. Note that this transaction is 100% Legal and hitch-free.pls reply to my emails: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks and God bless youSincerely ,Mrs Leona Smith.