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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Sylvie Robertson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 22 May 2014 00:59:20 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: CAN YOU HELP THE PEOPLE OF GOD?
CAN YOU HELP THE PEOPLE OF GOD?
I AM MRS, SYLVIE ROBERTSON, FROM FRANCE A WIDOW TO LATE DANIEL ROBERTSON, I AM 54 YEARS OLD WIDOW, I AM A NEW CHRISTIAN CONVERT, SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF THE BREAST,FROM ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I WOULDN'T LIVE MORE THAN THREE MONTHS, ACCORDING TO MY DOCTORS, AND IN ALL INDICATION REGARDS TO MEDICAL ANALYSIS, THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE THAT NO HOPE FOR ME TO BE A LIVING PERSON AGAIN,
MY LATE HUSBAND WAS KILLED DURING THE FRANCE RAID AGAINST TERRORISM IN TOGO, AND DURING THE PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE COULD NOT PRODUCE ANY CHILD, MY LATE HUSBAND WAS VERY WEALTHY AND AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH. THE DOCTORS HAS ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN THREE MONTHS DUE TO MY BAD HEALTH,
SO I NOW DECIDED TO USE MY LATE HUSBAND WEALTH TO HELP THE POOR AND HELPLESS PEOPLE AND ORPHANAGE HOMES AND ALSO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH IN AMERICA, AFRICA, ASIA AND EUROPE ESPECAILLY CREATE SOLUTION TO PROBLEM OF LESS PREVILLAGED ONES.
I SELECTED YOU AFTER VISITING THE WEBSITE I PRAYED AND FAST OVER IT, I AM WILLING TO DONATE TO YOU THE SUM OF 3.5 MILLION DOLLARS, FOR YOU TO USE THE FUND FOR THE GOOD OF MANKIND AS I DESIRE. PLEASE I WANT YOU TO NOTE THAT THE FUND IS LYING IN A BANK IN TOGO AND UPON MY INSTRUCTIONS TO THE BANK IN TOGO THEY WILL TRANSFER THE FUND TO YOUR ACCOUNT IN YOUR COUNTRY WHERE YOU WILL RECEIVE IT AND USE IT AS I DESIRE,
LASTLY,I HONESTLY PRAY THAT THIS MONEY WHEN TRANSFERED TO YOU WILL BE USED FOR THE SAID PURPOSE EVEN THOUGH AM LATE THEN, BECAUSE I HAVE COME TO FIND OUT THAT WEALTH ACQUISITION WITHOUT CHRIST IS VANITY AND I MADE THE PROMISE TO GOD THAT THE FUND WILL BE USE TO BUILD HIS TEMPLE. MAY THE GRACE OF OUR LORD JESUS THE LOVE OF GOD AND THE FELLOWSHIP OF GOD BE WITH YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.
I AM WAITING FOR YOUR URGENT REPLY.
GOD BLESS YOU.
MRS ,SYLVIE ROBERTSON.