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:
- "affidavit " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: linda hadi <email@example.com>
Reply-To: linda hadi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 26 Sep 2014 21:05:39 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Donation From Mrs Linda Hadi.
Dearest in the Lord,
I am Mrs Linda Hadi an ageing widow suffering from long time illness (Cancer). I am currently admitted in a private hospital. I have some fund I inherited from my late husband Mr.Livingston Hadi, who later died in a motor accident.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of ($3.200.000.00) Three million two hundred thousand Dollars) in a Bank. Presently, this money is still in bank.
My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next 3 months due to cancer problem. I need a very honest and God fearing person and organization that can use these funds for God's work.
Please if you would be able to use these fund for the God's work kindly reply me. I want you to send me your full name and address so that I will make you the new beneficiary of this fund.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank. I will also issue you affidavit that will prove you the new beneficiary of this fund. Hoping to receive your reply.
Mrs Linda Hadi.