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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. July Jones" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 14 Dec 2017 02:17:58 +0300
My name is Mrs. July Jones, I am married to (Eng Mr.Pius Jones) from
United Kingdom (U.K) who has an appointment in Tokyo, Japan as the
chief Managing director to(Abbes Suzuki Association Tokyo-Japan) under
Engineering project/contract awarding section.
My husband died as a result of brief illness called heart attack,
while he was coming back from (ASA) new location area on project
inspection on Saturday 10th December 2006.Before his death as a result
of our joint account venture we have $20 million (US) dollars in our
fixed deposit account.
Dear one I was brought up as an orphan and was married to my late
husband for9 years without a child and am of age, I am 68years now and
am suffering from kidney infection and a long time cancer of the
lungs, which has partially affected my brain, and from all indication my condition is really
According to my doctors, my health is very poor because of the cancer
ailment, I cannot stay to live up three months ahead, and I am having
serious problem with my husband's family members. I am not afraid of
death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in
the bosom of the Lord.
Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my course and I shall
hold my peace. Therefore I need a God fearing person who will assure
me that he/she will use this fund to help the Motherless babies,
Orphanage, Charity organization and less privileged once, and using for work of God.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit
this money. As soon as I receive your reply and consider it right, I
shall give you the contact of my attorney who will assist you towards
the claim. I want you to always pray for me because I don't have many
days to live.
Yours Mrs. July Jones