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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Burg Santos <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Burg Santos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 10:48:44 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Greetings to you in Jesus name Amen!
Â Greetings to you in Jesus name Amen!
I am Mother Judith Laura Richard, the wife to Late. Rev. Dr. John Peter Richard who worked with the American embassy in Benin Republic for Nine years and died in the year 2011. We were married for good seventeen years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only one month and two days. Before his death we were both born again Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home, which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $8 Million Dollars (Eight Million U.S. Dollars) in a Security & Finance Company in London, and My Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to my breast cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to contact you to make foundation with the funds for the orphanages and widows and also to propagate the word of God and to ensure that orphanages are educated. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I don't want our hard earned money to be squandered by unbelievers. I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard, With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original- beneficiary of this fund through the help of my late husband's attorney. Please, hear the voice of charities crying, so you should ensure to use the of money as I stated. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian!
Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a good Christian or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. Hoping to hear from you. Reply me & Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Blessings to you,
Mother Judith Laura Richard