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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "From Mrs Doreen." <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "From Mrs Doreen." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 25 Nov 2014 18:58:29 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Mrs Doreen
Dearest in the Lord.
I am Mrs.Doreen Beynaud. a widow suffering from long time illness (Cancer), I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr.Mahony Beynaud, the sum of $9.5 Million which he deposited. here and I need a very honest and God fearing person that can use these funds for God's work, and 15% out of the total funds will be for your compensation for doing this work of God.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly way. That is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going.
I found your email address from the internet and decide to contact you. Please if you would be able to use this fund for God's work kindly reply me.
Mrs Doreen Beynaud.