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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (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.
- email@example.com (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "From Mrs. Linah Mohohlo"
Date: Sat, 26 Dec 2015 15:00:48 +0200
Subject: From Mrs. Linah Mohohlo.It is a pleasure to write you.
>From Mrs. Linah Mohohlo
The Governor of the Bank of Botswana.
My Dearest in Christ,
Firstly I would like to introduce myself; my name is Mrs. Linah Mohohlo from Botswana. I am the governor of the Bank of Botswana you can view the profile on the panel members at(http://www.africaprogresspanel.org/panelmember/linah-mohohlo/ ) and read about me. Please I know this may come to you as a surprise, because you did not know me. I sincerely need your assistance discretely because of my high business associations, which is the reason why I write to you on a personal level and through divine direction. It is my desire to have a genuinely personal relationship with you.
I deposited the sum of USD$10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) with Finance/bank presently. These funds emanated as a result of an over-invoiced contract which I executed with the Bank of Botswana. Though I am the person who approved this contract but I honestly never knew at the time that it had been over invoiced. I am now afraid that the government of Botswana might start to investigate on contracts I awarded; presently this money is still with the bank here in South Africa.
I suffer from cancer and recently my Doctor informed me that due to my poor health condition I would not be able to stay alive past the next three months due to the cancer. None the less what disturbs me mostly is the stroke I suffered. Having known my condition I decided to donate these funds to a church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in.I want an individual person or church organization that will use the funds for churches, orphanages, research centers and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that gives, I took this decision because I have a child that will inherit this money but my son cannot carry out this work alone. I therefore decided to use some of the money to work for God and live some for my son to have a better future. My only son is only just 15 year old now and having to grow up without a father he has a low maturity, hence the reason for me taking this bold decision to ask for your assistance. I am not afraid of death hence 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 would like you to understand that me contacting you is a divine direction from God; As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact information of the Finance/bank.Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or Christian individual for this same purpose.Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here and Please I will like you to contact me immediately you receive this mail so that I will instruct the Finance/bank to transfer this fund into your account.
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Mrs. Linah Mohohlo and only Son Favor.
Godâs favor is sufficient for me