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:
- "million 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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. ROSE KALLONS" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "MRS. ROSE KALLONS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:45:48 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF GOD,
GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF GOD, PLS LET THIS NOT SOUND STRANGE TO YOU , I
PRAYED AND GOT YOUR EMAIL ID FROM YOUR COUNTRIES CHRISTIAN GUEST BOOK
WHICH I HAVE BEEN WITH MY LATE HUSBAND AND LIKED TO VISIT ONCE MORE IF GOD
WILL IN HIS INFINITE MERCIES.
I AM MRS. ROSE KALLONS FROM LONDON I AM 58 YEARS OLD I AM SUFFERING FROM
ALONG TIME CANCER OF THE LUNGS WHICH ALSO AFFECTED MY BRAIN, FROM ALL
INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS
THAT,ACCORDING TO MY DOCTORS THEY HAVE ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR
THE NEXT TWO MONTHS, THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE. I WAS BROUGHT UP FROM A MOTHERLESS BABIES HOME, WAS MARRIED TO MY LATE HUSBAND FOR TWENTY YEARS WITHOUT A CHILD , MY HUSBAND DIED IN A FATAL MOTOR ACCIDENT BEFORE HIS DEATH WE WERE TRUE CHRISTIANS.
SINCE HIS DEATH I DECIDED NOT TO RE-MARRY, I SOLD ALL MY INHERITED
BELONGINGS AND DEPOSITED ALL THE SUM OF 10.2MILLION DOLLARS IN THE BANK.
PRESENTLY, THIS MONEY IS STILL WITH THE BANK AND THE MANAGEMENT JUST WROTE ME AS THE TRUE OWNER TO COME FORWARD TO RECEIVE THE MONEY FOR KEEPING IT SO LONG OR RATHER ISSUE A LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION TO SOMEBODY TO RECEIVE IT ON MY BEHALF SINCE I CAN NOT COME OVER BECAUSE OF MY ILLNESS OR THEY GET IT CONFISCATED.
PRESENTLY, I'M WITH MY LAPTOP IN A HOSPITAL IN SWITZERLAND WHERE I HAVE
BEEN UNDERGOING TREATMENT FOR CANCER OF THE LUNGS. MY DOCTORS HAVE TOLD ME THAT I HAVE ONLY A FEW MONTHS TO LIVE. IT IS MY LAST WISH TOSEE THAT THIS MONEY IS INVESTED TO ANY ORGANIZATION OF YOUR CHOICE AND DISTRIBUTED EACH YEAR AMONG THE CHARITY ORGANIZATION,THE POOR AND THE MOTHERLESS BABIES HOME. I WANT YOU AS GOD FEARING PERSON, TO ALSO USE THIS MONEY TO FUND CHURCHES, ORPHANAGES AND WIDOWS;I TOOK THIS DECISION, BEFORE I REST IN PEACE BECAUSE MY TIME WILL SO ON BE UP.
AS SOON AS I RECEIVE YOUR REPLY I SHALL GIVE YOU THE CONTACT OF THE BANK
OFFICER IN CHARGE OF THE FUNDS.I WILL ALSO ISSUE YOU A LETTER OF
AUTHORIZATION THAT WILL PROVE YOU AS THE NEW BENEFICIARY OF MY FUND.
PLEASE ASSURE ME THAT YOU WILL ACT ACCORDINGLY AS I STATED HEREIN. YOU
ARE REQUESTED TO SEND TO ME THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION TO ENABLE ME USE
IT TO WRITE A LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION ON YOUR BEHALF TO THE BANK SO THAT
THEY WILL RELEASE THE MONEY TO YOU AS MY NEW NEXT OF
HOPING TO HEAR FROM YOU SOON.
WAITING FOR YOUR REPLY.
YOURS IN CHRIST,
MRS. ROSE KALLONS