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:
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Anna Eun Lee" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 3 Jul 2016 02:23:47 +0700
Subject: GOD BLESS YOU AS YOU READ THIS EMAIL.
I trust you are in Good condition of health, my names are Mrs. Anna Eun Lee, and I am proud member of Catholic Church St Joseph's branch Singapore. I have been diagnosed with Esophageal cancer, which have defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live, according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself) but my business.
Though by the grace of God I am a rich woman, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the World. I believe when God gives me a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my property and assets to my immediate and extended family members base well as a few close friends .I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul. So, I have decided to give assistance to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth.
So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in Somalia and Indonesia, Sri Lanka India Gambia and Philippines. My health is deteriorating 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 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 have left for them.
The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of Thirteen Million, Two Hundred and Fifty thousand dollars ($13,250,000, 00) that I have in Deposit Account. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and distribute it to charity organizations and also invest some of the money into some Cancer Research Institutions.
I sincerely pray you do not decline this call. Your urgent response will be appreciated.
Kindly forward the following particulars
Your Full Name
Home or company address
May the Good Lord be with you Amen
Mrs. Anna Eun Lee