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:
- "back to me via my private e-mail" (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Morales Arroyo" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 00:32:03 -0700
Subject: From Mrs Arroyo. (Helping Humanity)
With Due Respect Beloved One,
My name is Mrs. Alicia Rita Morales Arroyo , widow to late Ignacio Tuason
Arroyo, Jr, former owner of Petroleum & Gas Company and a congressman in
Philippines. I am suffering from long time Cancer of the breast. From all
indications my condition is really deteriorating and its quite obvious that
I won't live more than 3 months according to my doctors.
This is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I dont
want your pity but I need your trust. My late husband died in 2012 from
Heart attack, and during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any
My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited some his
businesses and wealth as the second wife without a child. The doctor has
advised me that I will not live for more than 3 months ,so I have now
decided to spread all my wealth, to contribute mainly to the development of
charity in your country .Am sorry if you are embarrassed by my mail.
I found your e-mail address in the web directory, and I have decided to
contact you, but if for any reason you find this mail offensive, you can
ignore it and please accept my apology.
Before my late husband died he was major oil tycoon in Philippines and he
deposited some amount of money with a finance company, that money is all
I have now, I need you to collect this funds and distribute it yourself to
charity .so that when I die my soul can rest in peace. The funds will be
entirely be in your hands for management.
I hope God gives you the wisdom to touch many lives, that is my main concern
and my dying wishes which I want you to respect. 20% of this money will be
for your time and effort, while 80% goes to charity.
You can get back to me via my private e-mail: (email@example.com )
God bless you.Mrs. Alicia Morales Arroyo You can read more about me and my
late husband through this link (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iggy_Arroyo)