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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: elnhabi <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: elnhabi <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 16:03:55 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Mrs. Elena Habissa.
Dearest in the Lord,
I am Mrs. Elena Habissa, a widow suffering from long time illness (Cancer). I am married to Mr. Joshua H. Habissa, who died in a motor accident. We were married for Eighteen years without a child.
Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$ 2. 900.000.00 (Two Million Nine Hundred thousand Dollars) in a Bank, presently, this money is still in bank.
My late husband instructed that this fund should be use for charity purpose such as to build schools, orphanage homes, hospitals, etc. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to cancer problem. Having known my condition, I want a honest and God fearing person or an organization that will use this fund for charity works.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul. With God all things are possible.
Please if you would be able to use this fund for God's work kindly reply me. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank, I will also issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of this fund.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein and please always be prayerful all through your life.
I hope to receive your reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Mrs. Elena Habissa.