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 states 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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Margaret Kerekou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 12 May 2016 17:40:34 +0700
Subject: From: Mrs Margaret Kerekou
From: Mrs Margaret Kerekou
Address: PO Box 321 Ajime ER
Kotonue Benin Republic
I am Mrs Margaret Kerekou the wife of the former President Mathieu Kerekou from Benin Republic My husband ruled our Country for 30yrs before he died in the year of 2015.We were married for twenty-seven yours and we were blessed with five Children. My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. When my late husband was
alive he deposited the sum of Seven Million United States Dollars ($7,000,000.00)
Presently, this money is a secrete bank and the management of the bank has just wrote me as the next of kin to come forward to sign for the release of this fund only known to me and my late husband or rather i can issue an authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf if I cannot come over, but unfortunately I'm in a hospital right now where I have been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer. So I will give you legal power of Attorney to help and claim this fund on behalf of my family and I will delegate my first Son to meet you up in your Country for investment directions. I will give you 40% of the money and you will help my son to invest the remaining 60% on any profitable business.
Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me stand and claim the fund from the bank and invest it to the mutual benefit of you and my Children because I donât know what will happen to me tomorrow. It is important I tell you to keep the business very secrete because the government in power now is doing everything to confiscate all my husband left behind.
As soon as I receive your response I shall give you the contact of the Finance company to enable you lay claims for this money and I will also send you all the documents related to the fund to prove that the fund is real. I will also send a letter of introduction to the bank to introduce you officially to them as the new next of Kin. Please you can log into this site to confirm my story http://urhobotoday.com/?p=19544 and everything about my husband death. Rest assured that there is not risk involve till the end.
I hope to hear from you urgently
Mrs Margaret Kerekou