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.
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Patrick Berger <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 12 Jul 2016 22:34:03 +0000
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU?
My name is Mr Patrick Berger, I have been diagnosed with Esophageal
Cancer that was discovered very late due to my laxity in caring for my
health. It has defiled all form of medicine 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 I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to
people and only focus 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 I know my time
is near, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my
immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close
I have decided to give alms 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 Africa , U.A.E, London and
Ireland. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this
my self any more. I once asked members of my family to close one of my
accounts and donate the money, which I have there to charity
organization in Bulgaria , 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 is the huge cash deposit that I have with a
financial institute abroad .I will want you to help me collect this
deposit and dispatched it to charity organizations. I am writing this
from my laptop computer in my sickbed where I wait for my time to come.
I pray that God uses you to support me.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Mr Patrick Berger