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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Nona Deboh <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Nona Deboh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 05:52:25 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Mrs,Nona Deboh.
>From Mrs,Nona Deboh.
am Mrs,Nona Deboh from Israel a widow to late Mr Daniel Deboh. I am 68
years old, I am a Christian suffering from long time cancer of the
breast, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it
is quite obvious that I wouldn't live more than three months, according
to my doctors, and in all indication regards to medical analysis, this
is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage that no hope
for me to be a living person again,
My late husband was killed
during the France raid against terrorism in Ivory Coast, and during the
period of our marriage we could not produce any child, my late husband
was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and
wealth. the doctors has advised me that I may not live for more than
Four months, so I now decided to divide the part of this wealth, to
contribute to the development of the church in America, Africa, Asia and
Europe especially create solution to problem of less privileged ones
and orphanage homes.
I selected you after visiting the website I
prayed over it; I am willing to donate the sum of US$2.5 million
dollars, to the less privileged. Please I want you to note that the fund
is lying in a bank in Ivory Coast and upon my instruction will file in
an application for the transfer of the money in your name.
I honestly pray that this money when transferred will be used for the
said purpose even though I am late then, because I have come to find out
that wealth acquisition without Christ is vanity and I made the promise
to God that the fund will be use to build his temple. May the grace of
our lord Jesus the love of God and the fellowship of God be with you and
your family I await urgent reply.
God blesses you.
Mrs Nona Deboh,