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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "good day friend" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Help Me <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2016 02:40:45 -0400
Subject: Dear good day friend,
Dear good day friend,
I greet you with the name in the name of the LORD Almighty the giver of every good thing. Good day and compliments of the seasons, I know it is true that this letter may come to you as a surprise. Nevertheless, I humbly ask you to give me your attention and hear me well., but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefull yas the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my futur eand continued existence. I am Mrs. Jovann Mafra widow of 58 years old suffering from long time illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of (23.5 Million Dollars) and I needed a very honest and God fearing who can withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO GIVE THIS FUNDS TO YOU FOR CHARIT YWORKS. I found your email address from the internet after honest prayers to the LORD to bring me a helper and i decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in good faith before anything happens to me.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this money to Churches, organizations or good person that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want you to use this money for Churches, Charity organizations, orphanages, widows and other people that are in need. l took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money . Moreover, my husband relatives are not close to me since I develop a Cancer problem and it had been their wish to see me dead in order to inherit his wealth since we have no Child. These people are not worthy of this inheritance. This is why I am taking this decision.
I want your urgent reply to me so that I will give you the deposit receipt which the COMPANY issued to me as next of kin for immediate transfer of the money to your account in your country, to start the good work of God, I am desperately in keen need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you for this task, you must not fail me and the millions of the poor people in our todays WORLD. This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved,100% RISK FREE with full legal proof. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Charity works kindly let me know immediately. I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust in this matter to accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything that will jeopardize my last wish. I want you to take 40 percent of the total money for your personal use while 60% of the money will go to charity.I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust in this matter to accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything that will jeopardize my last wish. Any delay in your reply may give me room to look for another good person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my ill-health. Your urgently responses is needed through this email address: = ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Thanks and Remain blessed
Yours Sister in The Lord,
Mrs. Jovann Mafra.