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 beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Cynthia Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 11:22:34 +0100
Subject: FROM MRS CYNTHIA WILLIAMS. MAY GOD BLESS!!!
Am Mrs. Cynthia Williams wife to late Mr. Vangal Williams from Netherlands,I was married to late Mr. Vangal Williams who worked with Shell Development Company in London for Twenty-Six years before he died in 2012 after a brief illness that lasted for only eight days. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $15.5 Million in a firm here.
Following my ill health (Cancer of the Breast and Pneumonia) and the doctors told me that i have few months to live due to my present health condition. I am looking forward to seeing a GOD fearing fellow who would be a medium through which smiles will be put in the faces of the less privilege, Sexually abused women in the society as well as being used to propagate the Kingdom and Gospel of the lord.
More details will be made known to you upon your response.
May God Bless You.