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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: " Catarina Fredriksson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 19 Mar 2016 18:21:32 +0700
Subject: Esteem Compliment
Esteem Compliment beloved,
Please read this slowly and carefully, as it may be one of the most important emails you ever get, I hope this mail meets you in good time, my name is Mrs. Catarina Fredriksson, I am married to Late Mr. Harry Fredriksson from Stockholm Sweden, He used to work with Shell Petroleum Development Company London and was also a seasoned contractor in the South East Asia Region, He died during Tsunami disaster in Phuket Thailand on 26th December 2004.
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I Believe Everyone will die someday. I have been diagnosed with Esophagus cancer and My Doctor told me that I would not last long due to my complicated health issues.
I have decided to give alms to charity organizations /churches/Mosque / motherless / babies/less privileged/widows, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I and my late husband did on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the Algeria and Bangladesh. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore.
I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts and distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria,Romania and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves.Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I and my late husband have left for them.
Before the death of my husband he made a deposit of $5.5 Million dollars which we intended to use for a hotel business in Phuket, which no one knows of this huge cash Deposit, since after his death, I have been battling with Cancer and according to my doctor the stage is uncontrollable now and I have few months to live.
I want to sow this fund from my deceased husbands enterprise as a seed in your care to the glory of God since we have no Child to inherit them. I will want you to dispatch it to charity organizations if only you will be sincere, I have learn that wealth acquisition without God is vanity upon vanity.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another individual for this same purpose.If you are not interested,kindly pardon me for contacting you.
Email : email@example.com
Mrs Catarina Fredriksson