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)
- "huge deposit" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS LINDA YUTO" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 3 Dec 2013 13:20:51 -0500
Subject: Fast and easy loan offer. Apply Now............
National Cancer Center,
5-1-1 Tsukiji. Chuo-ku.
Greetings to you and how are you doing? Please As you read my story I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because I believe everyone will die someday. I am Mrs. Linda Yuto a migrated American living here in Japan. I am married to Late Mr. Haruto Yuto who was the joy of my life here in Japan before he died on 9th of August 2000 after a brief illness. I and my husband were happily married for twenty eight years without a child before his death, few years after his death I too became ill and was diagnosed of having esophageal cancer and brain tumour complications and I have been spending so much money to keep me alive battling both cancer complications.
Two months ago my doctor at the National Cancer Center here in Japan told me that I have less than six months to live due to the cancer complications. Though what disturbs me most is the new development where my doctor informed me that I have become diabetic and following my unstable blood pressure I might become hypertensive and hit by stroke. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am a very rich woman in Japan I was never generous, I was always hostile to people who were poor and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for, now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world.
Now that I know my time is near, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close friends but that has not made me feel I have made peace with God. so I decided to give alms to Charity organizations, While I was strong I distributed money to earthquake victims here and Charity organizations in Japan, Nepal, Indonesia, India,Philipines and South Africa but since am no longer strong I asked my husband relatives to close one of my bank accounts and send the money there to a charity organization in Kenya but they deceived me and kept the money to themselves insisting that I have given too much of there brother's money to strangers so I dont trust them anymore as they seem not to be contended with what I have given to them.
The last of my huge deposit which non of my family members knows of is the huge cash deposit worth $7,500,000 United States Dollars I depositd with a South African Reserve Bank which I will want you to receive this deposit and further help me to distribute it to genuine charity organizations of your choice and for helping me carry out my last wishes you can keep 20% of the $7,500,000 to yourself.
If you will be able able and willing to help me achieve this dream send your reply to me immediately so that I will give you my deposit certificate and ask my lawyer to prepare a letter of authority then I send it to the bank to make you the new beneficiary of my bank account there.
If you are interested in my offer then get back to me with the following information listed below it will be used to prepare the letter of authority to make you the new beneficiarry of my bank account.
YOUR NAMES IN FULL.......................................................................
YOUR CONTACT ADDRESS.....................................................................
YOUR PRESENT OCCUPATION..................................................................
YOUR TELEPHONE/FAX NUMBER.....................................................(MOBILE PHONE NUMBER PREFERRED)
Thank you very much and God bless you and your family for remembering me at a time like this, for the few days I have to leave I will put my trust in you that you will not let me down.
Mrs. Linda Yuto