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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Rosemary Davis." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs.Rosemary Davis." <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 23 Apr 2015 18:10:25 +0900 (JST)
Subject: My Dear Child of God.
My Dear Child of God.
Calvary Greetings in the name of the LORD
Please donât be surprise by receiving my message, i am currently sending you this mail from my sick bed in the hospital despite my critical condition now But don't worry, All i hope is that you will not betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you. I have to thank God this moment for his direction as regards this mission,
I am Mrs.Rosemary Davis, from switzerland I am married to Late
Mr.Dany Davis, who is a wealthy business man here in West Africa we were married for many years with out a child before he died after a brief illness
Before his sudden death we where devoted christian When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of five MillionÂ Euros (â¬5.000.000.00) in one of the prime bank here in Ivory Coast Presently this money is still with the Bank,
i am very sick from kidney cancer that i may not last till the next two months according to my doctor so i decided to donate this money to a honest individual who will use it to work for God, orphans, widow and maintenance of church to fulfill the vow i and my late husband made to God,
and i have choosen you after praying.
I want this money to be use as i have said since i do not have any child to inherit it our relatives are all unbelievers and i don't want our hard earn money to be used in ungodly way so you will take 15% of the fund for your effort and use the remaining as i stated,
the reason for taking this bold decision. I know that after death I will be with God the most holy and the most merciful as soon as i read from you i will give you more details on how to achieve it,
i need your urgent reply as i dont know what tomorrow will result,
Your Sister In The Lord