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)
- "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)
- "million united states 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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MRS LENA VLADISLAV<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 05 Mar 2017 17:21:29 -0800
Subject: HELP MY SOUL
HOW ARE YOU DOING?
I AM MRS LENA VLADISLAV FROM SWITZERLAND, A WIDOW TO LATE TOM C.
VLADISLAV.I AM 55 YEARS OLD AND I AM SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME
CANCER OF THE WHITE BLOOD CELL/BONE MARROW (LEUKEMIA) AND FROM
ALL INDICATION MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY DETERIORATING AND IT IS
QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I WOULD NOT LIVE MORE THAN FEW MORE MONTHS, TO
SAY 2 MONTHS BUT BY GRACE MAYBE MORE.
ACCORDING TO MY DOCTORS, THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS
GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD. MY LATE HUSBAND DIED LAST FIVE YEARS,AND
DURING THE PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE WE COULDN'T PRODUCE ANY CHILD.
MY LATE HUSBAND WAS VERY WEALTHY AND AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED
ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH AND SINCE HE HAD NO ONE ELSE IN THE
WORLD BUT ME, IN FACT, WE BOTH HAD ONLY US IN THIS WORLD. THE
DOCTORS HAD ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN 2
MONTHS, SO I HAVE DECIDED TO DIVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH, TO
CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF CHURCHES, SCHOOLS, ORPHANAGE
HOMES AND TO HELPING THE LESS PRIVILEGED LOW LIFE PEOPLE IN
AFRICA, AMERICA, ASIA,AND EUROPE.
IT MAY COME AS A SURPRISE HOW I GOT YOUR EMAIL AND STARTED
SHARING MY STORIES WITH YOU AS A TOTAL STRANGER. YES! I HAVE LESS
THAN A YEAR FROM ALL APPROXIMATION TO STAY IN THIS WORLD SO I HAD
EMAIL LIST SENT TO ME AND I HAD TO WRITE YOU AFTER SO
MEDITATIONS. I AM WILLING TO DONATE THE SUM OF $25,000.000.00USD
(TWENTY FIVE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) TO CARRY OUT THE
PROJECTS I MENTIONED ABOVE.
PLEASE I WANT YOU TO NOTE THAT THE FUND IS LYING IN A SECURITY
COMPANY, INSURED AND IMMEDIATELY I RECEIVE A REPLY FROM YOU, I
SHALL FURNISH YOU WITH MORE DETAILS AND PROCEDURES ON HOW TO GET
THIS STARTED AND DONE AND ALSO IN ADDITION, I WILL FORWARD YOU
ALL THE INFORMATION YOU WILL NEED TO GETTING THE CONSIGNMENT BOX
RELEASED FROM THE SECURITY COMPANY.
I HONESTLY PRAY THAT THIS COSIGNMENT BOX WILL BE USED FOR THE
SAID PURPOSE AS IT IS THE WISH OF A DYING WOMAN AND SHOULD BE
I WAIT PATIENTLY TO READING YOUR REPLY.
THANKS AND REMAIN BLESSED.
MRS LENA VLADISLAV.