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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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 Susan Mariam Heidi <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 22 Jul 2013 10:21:08 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Dear Friend in Christ
Dear Friend in Christ,
I am happy to know you, but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you at this point, so do not be afraid.I am in need of your assistance,i want to make a donation to the poor and needy through you. My name is Susan Heidi, i am 53 year old right now i am in the hospital,i have been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.i have since lost my ability to talk and my Doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. Before I became ill,I kept USD$ 19.5 Million willed to me by my late husband in a long-term deposit account in a finance company in African.My late husband deposited the Fund in Burkina Faso since 1998 please i want you to use this opportunity and claim it I have all the useful information and the deposit certificate with me here. we were married for eleven years without a child.
Since his death i decided not to remarry again, when my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of (USD $19.5, Million Dollars) in a finance Security Company in Burkina Faso the capital city of Ouagadougou in Africa presently this money is still in Company. He made this money available for exportation of gold from Burkina Faso mining.Recently, my doctor told me that i would not last for the period of seven months due to cancer problem. Whoever that wants to serve god must serve him in spirit and truth because God is the most high; please always be prayerful all through your life.The one that disturbs me most is my cancer sickness. Having known my condition i decided to hand you over this money and the gold to take care of the less-privileged people, you will utilize this money the way i am going to instruct herein. i want you to take 40 percent of the total money for your personal use while 60% of the money will go to charity" people in the street
and helping the orphanage.
I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not good not even good at all because they are the one that responsible for the death of my late husband in other to have all my late husband properties and i don't want my husband's efforts to be used by those that conspired for his death. i grew up as an orphan and i don't have anybody as my family member, just to endeavor that the name of god is maintained,now that it is clear that i will not survive this sickness, i have decided that i must give my wealth to the poor and needy to demonstrate my humanitarian service to humanity.I will appreciate Mostly that the fund be donated to motherless Babies, widows and hurricane victims all over the world.
Mrs Susan Mariam Heidi