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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Marylyn Demerey <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 16:45:19 +0800
Ms Marylyn Demerey,
I am the above named person but now undergoing medical treatment in London, England. I am married to Dr.David Demerey who worked with British Railway Commission in Chelsea England for over a decade before he died in 2006.We were married for fifteen years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for two weeks. Before his death he made a vow to use his wealth for the down trodden and the less privileged in the society. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $25.5 Million (Twenty Five Million Five hundred thousand United States Dollars) in a Vault with a Security/Finance House in UK.
Presently, this money is still with them there. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next 150 days due to cancer problem.
Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an individual or better still a God fearing person who will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want an individual that will use this to fund and provide succor to poor and indigent persons, orphanages, and above all those affected in the Tsunami in far Asia.
I understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not inclined to helping poor persons and I do not want my husbands hard earned money to be misused or spent in the manner in which my late husband did not specify. I do not 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 Almighty.
I do not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health, and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I do not want them to know about this development. With God all things are possible.As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Security/Finance House in UK. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund,through my Lawyer. I want you to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Whosoever that wants to serve the Almighty must serve him with all his heart and mind and soul and also in truth.
Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for an individual for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act according to my specification herein.
Hoping to hear from you.
For full details, kindly reply this mail with your full name, address,occupation, status and phone/mobile to my email address (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Thank you and may the Almighty bless you.
Ms Marylyn Demerey(Benefactor).