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:
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Gretchen Mishra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Gretchen Mishra <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2014 23:21:57 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dearest in Christ,
Dearest in Christ,
With Due Respect And Humanity,Let me first of all inform you, I am Mrs.Gretchen Mishra from Switzerland. I am married to Mr.Tom Mishra who worked with a construction company in Asia for twenty Years before he died in the tsunami disasters, we were married but without Any children.
I am now suffering from long time breast Cancer and Cancer of the lungs, from all indication my condition is really deterioration and it is quite obvious that i won't live more than 2 months according to my doctor, this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage Since his death I decided not to re-marry. I deposited the sum of four million five hundred thousand united states dollars($4.5million) with the Bicici bank Abidjan Cote D' Ivoire. And now i am willing to donate this sum of $4.5million to the less privilegeds and to contribute to development of church in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe.
My late husband was a very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth, Presently this money is still with the bank and the management just Wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or rather Issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf If I cannot come over. I am presently in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment Cancer of the lungs in a hospital , I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to Live. Please i want you to note that this money is lying in the Bank in Abidjan Cote D' Ivoire
I want a person that is trustworthy that will utilize 90% of this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around the world but in my name Gretchen Mishra"As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank.I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as The new beneficiary of this fund. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein and Keep this contact confidential till such a time this funds get to your Custody,this is to ensure that nothing jeopardizes my last wish on Earth.
Thanks and God bless you
I await your urgent reply.