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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Joy Lee" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 14 Oct 2017 02:58:48 +0000
Subject: re.Remain blessed
My name is Mrs. Joy Lee., a native of Britain , 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 friends.
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 your hearing from you.with your full information
so that I can send it to the them for the release of the money
Mrs. Joy Lee.