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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Faith Michael <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Faith Michael <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Jun 2016 05:16:12 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear servant of God vineyard.
Dear servant of God vineyard.
I am Mrs. Faith Michael, an French woman who is suffering from cancerous ailment. I am married to Dr.Micheal Adam, who also is an French man though dead now. My husband worked with the Paris Railways for over two decade before the cold hand of death took him away on the 25rd of July 2014 at about 4:00AM. Our marriage lasted for over a decade without any fruit of the womb.I saw your profile email address when I was searching in http: as I believe with this blessing from God that you are going to make good use of this project.
My husband died after a protracted illness. My husband and I made a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals within the Ivory coast ,North Asia,and the rest of the globe as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to physical disability or financial predicament. I can adduce this to the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship, which never came.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $3,500.000 Million (Three Million and Five hundred Thousand United State Dollars ) with a bank here. After the election in my country this money is still with the Bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have a limited or numbered days on earth and that my life span will not exceed 23 days due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from.
Though what bothers me most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer. With this hard reality that has befallen my family, and me I have decided to donate this fund to a non-governmental, or a non religious, and or a non profit organization or better still an individual, that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want a non governmental, or a non religious, and or a non profit organization or better still an individual, that will use this gift which comes from my husbands sweat to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans, destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially. It is often said that blessed is the hand that give. I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want my husband's hard earned money to be misused
or invested into ill perceived ventures. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision.I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be with the Almighty when I eventually pass on. The Almighty will fight my case and I shall hold my peace. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health. It is good to get back to me with your own words of trust and agreed with the term and condition of this my mail to you, delaying in your respond me will make me seek for another church or individual for the same matter.
Mrs. Faith Michael,