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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Melissa Kent" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 10 Jul 2016 12:04:22 -0400
Subject: RE: HELLO MY DEAR FRIEND
My Dear Friend , I want you to note that i don't know you and i don't even know who you are or where you come from but the Lord whom i serve is so loving and helpful as he never forget his own people i want you to know that i have been thinking of what to do over this funds for some period of years now simply because i know that the money is of no use to me any longer simply because of the stage at which my cancer has gotten. I am a very prayerful person and it was when i was praying sometimes ago that the Lord revealed to me i don't know if i should call it a dream or a vision i was told that i should go into the world and bless the world with what the almighty God has used in blessing i and my late husband.
The vision seems so terrific and i was so bothered that i had a day fasting and prayer over it and someone in my church then interpret the meaning of my dreams to me telling me that i am having something which is in need in the world and he want me to use it to bless the world and the person asked me to think very well because it is the voice of the Lord that has spoken to me and all that. I searched myself very well and i get to remember that i am having the fund which i and my husband had labored for so many years and i contacted the security company as the beneficiary of the funds and i was confirmed the owner of the funds and am asked to come around and get it exactly when am ready to but i should made awareness of when i will be coming so that proper arrangement would be made then but it is a pity i cant go which you know.
I had another dream which made me realize that i must not be in possession of the money and i should go into the world and look for someone in the world to distribute the funds in a Godly manner. So i decided to search with the name related to a woman who took very good care of me when i was dump by my runaway parents. i was brought up in a motherless baby home and so i told my nurse to help me get an Internet account after that i decided to search i got about 1065 profiles and i prayed over it and you know whats funny ? among all the profiles i chose it was yours that the Lord has chosen to distribute this funds as a sacrifice from the lord to the world. It is a means of you been committed to the Lord and this will make you move closer to him as well and i am very sure that he must certainly have a reason why he want you to do this on his behalf please be strong and have faith in yourself and in me and make me realize that you will do it just because i know you can do it and i see you doing it right among everyone else.... Hope i read from you soonest and please make sure that you never forget me in your prayers kindly get back to me thanks and God bless you and your household make a prayer over it and you will smell it around you the Lord will not come down to call his own people he will send someone to you now he has sent me to you. God bless you abundantly..........in his riches..................Amen