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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Lisa Lee" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 13:17:45 -0400
My name is Mrs Lisa Lee,I am a dying woman who has decided to donate what I have to charity through you.You may be wondering why I chose you.But someone has to be chosen.I am 69 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about two years ago,after the death of my husband who had left me everything he worked for.I have been touched by the Lord to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to charity through you for the good work of humanity,rather than allow my relatives to use my husband's hard earned funds inappropriately.I have asked the Lord to forgive me all my sins and I believe he has,because He is merciful. I will be going in for an operation,and I pray that I survive the operation.I have decided to WILL/Donate the sum of (Six Million five Hundred thousand Dollars)to charity through you for the good work of the Lord, and to help the motherless,less privileged and also for the assistance of the widows.
Please, if you 're willing to honor my request by carrying out my last wish, i 'll in turn give you all the necessary details for you to act as my nominated person in taking charge of the funds and percentage from the total sum as appreciation for a job well done.
I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until the task is accomplished, as I do not want anything that will jeopardize my last wish, due to the fact that I do not want my relatives or family members standing in the way of my last wish.
Mrs Lisa Lee.
PLEASE INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME,ADDRESS,TELEPHONE NUMBER ON YOUR REPLY FOR EASY AND IMMEDIATE COMMUNICATION WITH MY SOLICITOR/CONSULTANT.