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 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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rebecca Abubakar" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2016 11:50:48 -0300
My name is Mrs. Rebecca Abubakar I am 59 years old , I am a dying woman
who have decided to donate what I have to you/churches/ motherless
babies/less privileged/widows.I was diagnosed for cancer for about a
year ago. I have been touched by God to donate from what I have
inherited from my late husband to you for good work of God. I have asked
God to forgive me and believe he has because he is a merciful God.
I will be going in for an operation Monday.I decided to WILL/donate the
sum of Ten million dollars to you for the good work of God, and also to
help the motherless and less privilege and also for the assistance of
the widows. At the moment I cannot take any telephone calls right now
due to the fact that my relatives (That have squandered the funds I gave
them for this purpose before) are around me and my health status also.
I was married to Ali Abubakar, who worked with National Iranian South
oil company (NISOC) for twenty seven years before he died.Iâm with my
laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer
of the lungs.
I have adjusted my WILL and my lawyer is aware. I wish you all the best
and may the good God bless you abundantly, and please use the Funds
judiciously and always extend the good work to others. As soon you get
back to me, I shall give you info on what I need from you then you will
contact my Reverend Father and tell him I have willed (Ten million
dollars) to you by quoting my personal reference number: and I have
also notified my bank that I am willing that amount to you for a good,
effective and prudent work.
Thanks and god bless.
Mrs. Rebecca Abubakar