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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Barbara Loken" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2018 19:35:44 -0800
Subject: Hello ,
I am Mrs. Barbara Loken, I am from Portugal.
I have been diagnosed with cancer. It has defied all forms of medical
treatment, 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 focused 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.
I would want to have a Personal and Trustworthy Relationship with you,
as I intend and willing to empower the change of ownership for the
transfer of my Deposits to your personal possession for Charity
Disbursement to the Less Privilege and Homeless. I want this fund to
be used in liberation work Activities like, help to Orphanages, and
Christian schools, helping widows and up keeping of the Churches and
propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is
maintained. 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 case and I shall hold my peace.
Because of my health condition when i try to speak it leads to a
serious coughing out of blood. I will send you the photos of me,
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the details on how to
contact the bank directly for onward transfer. I will also issue you
an authority letter that will prove you as the present beneficiary of
my funds. I want you and your family to always pray for me but the
lord is my shepherd.
Thank you for your due consideration. God be with you. Please write to
my email (email@example.com )
Yours Siister in the Lord.
Mrs. Barbara Loken