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:
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dorothy" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 01:37:55 -0000
Subject: FOR PHILANTHROPIC TRUST!
New Page 1
My dear how are you today,
Please forgive me if my plea sounds a little strange or unbelievable to you. My
family attorney who could have handled the process of executing my WILL &
TESTAMENT on my behalf died early this year after a protracted illness. I
therefore prayed fervently and by heavenly special grace, I got your email ID
from your country's guest book.
Am Dorothy Irene Height native of Denmark, am 89 yrs of age, a widow with no
child with my late husband who died Years ago. Am suffering from long time
cancer of breast which has affected my lung/liver, from all indication my
conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that, according to my
doctors, they have advised me that i may not live for the next one and half
months unless there is a divine intervention because the cancer stage has gotten
to a very bad stage.
I was brought up from a motherless babies home and was married to my late
husband. Sequel to the unfortunate and shocking demise of my priceless husband,
i decided as a rule not to re-marry. when my cancer ailment became terminal &
more, because i do not have a next of kin to bequeath all i & my husband labored
for, I sold off all our choice properties and other inherited belongings
comprising of a shopping mall, an hotel, shares, bonds, jewelries and other
valuable family treasures and deposited the
proceeds with B-Credit Union limited Uk and as i write this, is still with my
Presently, the management of my bank just wrote me and requested that I should
come forward to receive the money because of the unserviceable status of the
Account but when they received my ill health report, they advised me to quickly
issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf to avoid
the Fund being confiscated as stipulated by British Banks deposit regulation
Here in the intensive care unit of Herlev Hospital Dk, a leading Government
cancer treatment hospital in the world and i have been undergoing treatment here
for late-stage terminal cancer of the lungs. I am computer literate and was
fortunate enough to have my personal laptop with me, hence I am writing from my
sick bed. I rarely talk, It is my last wish to see that this money is invested
in Charity and Humanitarian cause especially for Cancer patients, Orphanages
home where i was raised and you keep part of the principal amount to support
I crave your indulgence as someone who knows the pains which less-privileged
children in our society undergoes and plead with you to take this Humanitarian
cause upon yourself and use this fund for the above mentioned purposes, I took
this painstaking decision in other to help humanity in my little capacity before
i rest in peace in the bosom of Lord. According to my physicians my time will
soon be up.
I needs your following information
(1) Your full names:
(2) Personal or official contact address:===============================
(3) Home or Office phone#:============Cell
(4) Your Age: =============== (5)
(6) Sex/Marital status:==================(7) Private E-mail Address:
And forward them through my email:
firstname.lastname@example.org so to enables me Obtains the Letter of
Authorization in your name which I shall send to my bank and copy to you
.Awaiting your kind response while craving your appreciation of my predicament.
Yours sister ,