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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "high court" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: GOODNEWS <Goodnews1@Charity092.onmicrosoft.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 02:31:21 +0530
My Name is Mrs praskovia batovich,I am married to late Yuri batovich who was an Oil Merchant and international businessman before he died in the year 2001 after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. Before the Untimely death of my husband we were both born again Christians. When my late husband was Alive he deposited the sum of ($18,000,000.00 USD) with a Bank in Europe whose name is withheld until we open up communication.
Following my ill health, my Doctor told me that I may not last for the next Couple Of Months due to My cancer problem. the one that disturbs me most is my inability to move Around and Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a God fearing Person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, according to the desire of my late husband Before his death. I don't want situation where this money will be used in an-ungodly Way.
I am not afraid of death Hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the Blossom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that "the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives around me always, As soon as I receive your reply, I shall give you the contact of the Bank where you shall reach them and i will also issue you a Letter Of Authorization from the High Court Of Justice that will prove you to be a beneficiary of this fund. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another individual for this same purpose
Your Beloved Sister in the lord,
Mrs praskovia batovich