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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Elena Wadler" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2013 10:54:53 -0500
Subject: Confidential - (Please contact me asap).
Information Below Should Be Taken Private and Confidential
Dear Beloved, Please can you help me?
I am sending you this email through the internet with reservations, basically because you may perceive my intentions wrongly. I am Mrs Elena Wadler, suffering from leukemia cancer and stroke, The issue I want to unravel to you is a very classified and sensitive one,I was married to Sir Richard Wadler an Englishman who is dead. My husband was into private practice all his life before his death. Our life together as man and wife lasted for three decades without child. My husband died after a protracted illness and I made a vow to uplift the down trodden and the less-privileged individuals as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of nine million eight hundred thousand pounds, which was derived from
his vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank in London. I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down -trodden, who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.I have taken this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of my attorney that will also issue you a Letter of Authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation.
Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.........Hope to hear from you soon....through my private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Elena Wadler.