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:
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Malai Mariam Bin" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 23 Nov 2017 22:01:44 -0500
Subject: Re: Help To Mankind/ Please Reply!
21st Floor, Block D,F,G
Yayasan Sultan Haji
Hassanal Bolkiah Complex, Jalan Pretty
Bandar Seri Begawan BS8712, Brunei Darussalam
Im a bit scared of you replying this massage due to the high rate of disbelieving the internet has been over the years, but I sent you this email basically on your person as well the high profile you portray.
Im Mrs. Malai Mariam Bin am a widow to late Mr.Abdul Hamid Bin former CEO of Brunei National Petroleum Company Sendirian Berhad. Ive Cancer of the breast for quite some years now; its in deteriorating stage as you read this email, as Ive couple of mounts to leave.
My marriage couldn't produce any child, after the death of my husband, he has a WILL which our family attorney read to me that I inherited an amount of money in one of his offshore accounts with a Finance Firm in Europe as well all his business, I need you to collect this fund and distribute it to charitable homes, so that when I die my soul can rest in peace. The funds will be entirely in your hands and management.
I hope God will use you to touch many lives. Please reply back to me; the doctor has stopped me from receiving and making calls due to my ill health condition.
God bless you.
Mrs. Malai Mariam Bin