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:
- "the consignment" (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)
- "hundred thousand u.s 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)
- "i got your address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS DEBORAH JAMES" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 03 Jan 2017 13:42:17 +0100
Subject: HANDLE THIS PROJECT TRUTHFULLY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
HANDLE THIS PROJECT TRUTHFULLY FOR YOUR OWN GOOD
I am MRS DEBORAH JAMES from South Africa . I am married to Late Mr. DAVID JAMES of blessed memory who was an oil explorer in NIGERIA for fifteen years before he died in the year 2010.
We were married for twelve years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both devoted to our God and respect other who serves him. Since his death, I too have been battling with both Cancer and fibroid problems. When my late Husband was alive he Deposited the sum of $18.5million (Eighteen Million, Five Hundred thousand U.S Dollars) with a Deposit Company in Europe . The money is deposited as Family Valuables/Treasure for security reasons.
Recently, my doctor told me that I have only six months to live due to my cancer problem, and this lead to a stroke attack which bother me most though because I cannot move as I use to. Having known my condition I decided to entrust this fund to either a philanthropic organization or devoted individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instructs herein.30% of the US$18.5million goes to you to ensure that you are prepared for the task ahead, 60% of this money will be used in all sincerity to fund philanthropic organization, orphanages, widows and 5% will go to the family Attorney who will prepare the Authorization and the balance 5% sent to me to at least prepare for my funeral and off-set my medical bills.
I am taking this decision because I don't have any child or devoted relations whose behavior has left much to be desired while I am ill and above all I don't want a situation where this money will be used in an Ungodly manner, hence this bold decision.
Since my health is Retrogressing by the minute, you will have to send your
YOUR FULL NAME
CONTACT PHONE NUMBER AND FAX
and a little details about yourself, because I got your address from the internet after a thorough search with the help of my pastor who pray and help me.As soon as I receive this information from you I will make arrangement to prepare the Authorization through the family Attorney for you to get Possession of the Deposit. As soon as I receive your reply and the authorization is given to you by me, I will give you the name and contact of the Deposit Company where the money was deposited in Europe , for claims to the consignment.
Until I hear from you, I pray that this letter bring you and your family good tiding while my dreams to help humanity rest squarely on your shoulders.
May the Almighty God continue to guide and protect you.
MRS DEBORAH JAMES.