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:
- ",500,000" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Elisabeth Schubert" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Jun 2016 18:54:07 -0700
Subject: Urgent Response Needed
No.36 Kinshasa Avenue, East Legon.,
Accra,Republic of Ghana.
I am Mrs.Elisabeth Schubert now undergoing medical treatment.I am married to Dr.Schubert who worked with German Embassy in Republic of Ghana before he died in the year 2006.
We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.Before his death we were both born again Christians. I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home, which the Bible is against. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$7,500,000.00 with a Bank in West Africa, this money is still with the Bank.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not Last for the next three months due to cancer and what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in.
I want a church or individual that will use this money to fund churches, orphanages 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 giveth. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money.
I cannot rely on family and closest relatives any more, as they did not show responsible behavior when I entrusted part of my wealth to them to distribute to charitable organizations but instead used the money for their personal needs.
To prevent any more mishaps, my attorney will act as a check, monitoring every aspect of the Charity organizations.
I sincerely request for your assistance in this humanitarian work. I want the bank to transfer the fund to your bank account so that you will use 80% of the fund to help the following people:
1, Motherless babies.
3, Disable people.
The 20% of the fund is for you and your family, if you will accept to do this humanitarian work. You will promised me that you will not disappoint me when the fund will be transferred to your bank account there in your country, and you will also assured me that you will use the 80% of the money for the said purpose.
Reply to me urgently if you are interested in this transaction because any delay to your response will give me a room to look for another reliable person for the same purpose, hoping to hear from you.
Whatever the case might be, just put me in prayers at all times.
May the almighty God bless you.
Reply me Back at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get back to me for more details.
Mrs. Elisabeth Schubert.