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 united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sherry Page" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 04 Dec 2015 21:55:09 +0000
Subject: Re: Good Morning
From: Mrs. Sherry Page
Address, Jerusalem Israel
Dearest in Christ,
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ I got your esteem
contact out of desperate search for a reliable and trustworthy person.
Your efficiency mercy is needed. I was married to late Mr. Ramo Page
of blessed memory who died on a Missionary work in floods disaster at
(GUATEMALA) Central part of America on October 4th 2005. His sudden
death affected my Blood pressure which ultimately led me having a
stroke attack. I already have hepatocellular cancer of the liver which
I have been suffering from when my late husband was alive.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a true devoted Christian.
Please always be prayerful all through your life because is key to
eternal life after death. From all medical indications my doctor has
diagnosed and told me privately that i should try and start building
my spirit for the inevitable. He says i may not last for more than 3
months because of rapid growth by stages of the cancer.
Based on this i have taken the decision to share our funds and wealth
in contribution to the development of the Church and society with
major focus on the poor, needy and victims of HIV / AIDS.I selected
you after having a communication with our Lord through prayers I now
realize that wealth without life in Christ is vanity . My happiness is
that I lived a life of a true devoted Christian. Please always be
prayerful all through your life because is key to eternal life after
death. When my late Husband was alive he deposited the sum of $12.8
million United State Dollars (Twelve Million Eight Hundred Thousand
U.S. Dollars) with a Finance Firm. The holy book emphasizes so much on
goodness, and this has encouraged me to take this bold step
Am offering you 45% of the total sum for your good job who devoted
himself to do the good work for the Lord and you will distribute the
rest to the needy victims of HIV / AIDS orphanage homes as described
on this email. Beloved this is my direct telephone contact at the
hospital here in Jerusalem Israel (+97239155936) please whenever you
call the doctor may pick request that you want to talk to me please If
you find this letter offensive ignore it and accept my apologies.
Mrs. Sherry Page