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:
- "attorneys " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs.Grace Petrucci <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 22 Jul 2016 12:03:25 +0100
Subject: From Mrs.Grace
Blessings from my heart to you.My quest to locate a responsible person to bring my dreams to reality led me to take this bold step to contact you through this medium and i would not like you to take offense owing to the fact that we have not met before.I am Mrs.Grace Petrucci from Canada,wife to the late Anthony C. Petrucci,who died with my only son in a ghastly motor accident five years ago.My late husband and i were married for years before his sudden demise.A weight i have carried for years.Coupled with the trauma of undergoing cancer treatment for years now.My health has deteriorated and the doctors are not confident i will live to see the next two months which is heartbreaking for me.I decided to sell off all my inherited properties in the USA and whatever belonging i could lay hands which amounted to $7.5Million now deposited in a joint account i have with my late husband in a bank in the USA.I took this decision because i do not trust my late husband's surviving brothers who have a record of criminal behaviors and have being jailed for various criminal offenses.I am sure they are waiting for me to die so that they can come and inherit my money.They have not shown concern regarding my health.They are bitter that i inherited my late husbands money.I will not allow such bitter minds inherit my money.I rather give it out to charity and the work of God.
I have decided after praying and my spirit is strong about this decision to donate this money to charity.To be given to orphanages and used to improve the life's of those suffering from cancer and expansion of the word of the Lord.I saw your profile and i prayed over it that the Lord show me signs that you a trustworthy person and He did.I decided to contact you seeking that you stand as my next of kin to receive this funds and give it to orphanages,old people's home and more.
I have discussed this with my Attorney and he is willing to assist in the distribution of the money to charity.I feel i have fought a good fight and my soul is now at peace and i am no longer afraid to die.I would have loved to speak with you on the phone but,i can't because of my health condition and the doctor frowns at it.Please always email me.I will provide you my Attorneys details once you indicate your interest to assist with this project.
Please reply and let me know if you are interested.