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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "anna guth" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 21 May 2014 15:46:13 -0400
Subject: I DID NOT WRITE TO YOU BY CHANCE
I am Mrs. Anna Guth from Australia.
I am 68 years old; I am suffering from a long time cancer of the breast.
From all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I can't work or do any stressful thing. According to my doctors they have advised me that I may not live for the next two months, this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I was brought up from a motherless babies home was married to my late husband for twenty years without a child.
My Husband (Tom Guth) died in a fatal motor accident before his death we were true Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry, I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum of $5.6 million dollars wishes .And the best part of it is, the paying bank told me in the letter that they can have the funds released to my approved person that was authorized by me or transferred to his bank account and if outside there country then transferred to his or her bank account.
Presently, am using my laptop in the hospital at in London where I have been undergoing treatment for my sickness.
I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only more 2 months to live. It is my last wish to see at least 60% of this money is invested/donated to any organization/business of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization, e.g. the poor homes, the motherless babies home where I came from, the deaf homes, an
I seek for is a God fearing person like you ,who will carry out my last wishes and before I emailed you today I prayed and the holy spirit gave me the confidence to send you this email. I took this decision, before I rest in peace because my time will soon be up. As soon as I receive your reply I will give you the contact of the paying bank .
All I need from you is a confidential assurance that the funds when received by you will be used for the said purpose, Nowadays there are so much scams going on in the internet and it is difficult to trust but I dont know why the Holy spirit still approved me to email you about this out of few email addresses i have from the internet, yours was the only one that my mind convinced me to. You can contact me on my email:
Waiting for your responds
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Anna Guth