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:
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Florence Michael <"AA."@silk.ocn.ne.jp>
Reply-To: Mrs Florence Michael <FlorenceMichael4499@outlook.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Nov 2017 02:57:46 +0900 (JST)
Subject: From Mrs. Florence Michael
Donation From Mrs. Florence Michael,
Address: 12b Av. Fiata,
My dear ,
I am Mrs Florence Michael. I am married to Mr.Fred Michael who worked with Kuwait embassy in BENIN REPUBLIC for many years before he died in the year 2017. My matrimonial status is that I lost my husband and two kids in Motor accident on 15 july . When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of ($B!r(B3.600.000.00) Three million six hundred thousand pounds in a Bank. Presently this money is still in the bank. Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to my cancer problem.
The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an individual/ organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, use this fund for orphanages, school and church,
widows, propagating the word of God .I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health .With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply with your full information,
Your full name.......................
I will use the above information to secure my Last Will and Testament in your favor which will legally and officially approve you as the new beneficiary of this fund from the Federal Ministry of Justice Lome Togo. I want you and the church to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and Truth. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated above. Hoping to receive your reply with the above information's.
Remain blessed in the Lord
Yours Sister in Christ
Mrs Florence Michael,