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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Emma Robot" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Emma Robot" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 16 Jun 2014 00:46:09 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Greetings From Mrs Emma Robot
Greetings From Mrs Emma Robot
Ghana West Africa
I am Mrs Emma Robot ,from South Africa.I am married to late Mr Solomon Robot, who worked with South Africa Embassy in Ghana West Africa for Twenty-Six years before he died in the year 2006,after a brief illness that lasted for only five days.
We were married for Eighteen years with a daughter (Lilian)who later died in a motor accident. Before the untimely death of my husband,we were both born again Christians. Since after his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of (US$4.8 M )(Four Million,Eight hundred Thousand United States Dollars) in a General Trust Account with a prime bank in Ghana West Africa. Presently,this money is still with the bank.
Recently,Following my ill health, my Doctor told me that I may not last for the next six months due to my cancer problem.The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to a Christian organization (Church) that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein,according to the desire of my late husband before his
I want this fund to be used in Christian Activities like,Orphanages, Christian schools, and Churches for propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. The Bible made us to understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth". I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's efforts to be used by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom 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.I don't want them to know about this development.With God all things are possible.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in Ghana West Africa. I will also issue you the documents that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund. I want you and the Church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and
Truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Contact me on this e-mail address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another Church for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. Hoping to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Emma Robot.
Please Contact me on this e-mail address( email@example.com