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:
- 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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: margaret ragnvard <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 17 Mar 2016 00:28:56 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: May God bless you for accepting this offer.
Greetings my dear,
Â I know this letter might be a surprise to you, But I believe that you will be sincere and honest to fulfill my final wish. I bring peace and love to you. It is by the grace of god, I had no choice than to do what is lawful and right in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of godâs mercy and glory upon my life. My dear, I sent this mail praying it will found you in a good condition of health, since I myself are in a very critical health condition in which I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I am Mrs. Margaret Ragnvard a widow, I am suffering from a long time cancer of the Lungs i cannot communicate with you through phone because the cancer has affected my hearing ability and my brain, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that, according to my doctors they have advised me that I may not live too long, this is because the cancer has gotten to a very bad stage. I hoped that you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of the orphans and the less privileges ones. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of ($ 11,000,000.00, Eleven Million Dollars). Â Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to you believing that you will utilize it the way i am going to instruct herein. I need you to assist me and reclaim this money and use it for Charity works, for orphanages and gives justice and help to the poor, needy and widows says The Lord." Jeremiah 22:15-16.â and also build schools for less privilege that will be named after my late husband if possible and to promote the word of god and the effort that the house of god is maintained.
I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. That's why I'm taking this decision. I'm not afraid of death, so I know where I'm going. I accept this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money after I die. Please I want your sincerely and urgent answer to know if you will be able to execute this project for the glory of god, and I will give you more information on how the fund will be transferred to your bank account. May the grace, peace, love and the truth in the Word of god be with you and all those that you love and care for.
I am waiting for your immediate reply.
May God Bless you,Mrs. Margaret Ragnvard.