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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "F-Richards Homes" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 30 May 2018 03:00:35 +0200
Subject: REMAIN BLESSED IN THE NAME OF GOD
Dear beloved in Christ,
Greetings to you and your family in the name of The Almighty God. My name is Mrs. Felicia Richards ; I am a Philippines citizen married to an Irish Man, a devoted Christian, I came across your contact through the internet while searching for a reliable person/Organization that I can trust on a humanitarian project that requires absolute trust. After Praying and fasting, my mind became 100% sure that you will carry out this last wish of mine in a God fearing manner. I pray that my decision to contact you will be given a genuine approval, considering the facts that we have not seen or been in contact before. Note that I am contacting you without any doubt on your ability to carry out this project faithfully. I pray and believe in my mind that God will give you the ability to accomplish this gracious project faithfully for glory of God and welfare of his people.
Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold my peace.
I'm a 55 years old, currently in a hospital in United Kingdom. My Husband was a timber Merchant who died in a Ghastly Motor Accident and during our years of marriage,I had Fibroid which made it impossible for us to have a baby of our own, Due to my love for him and the fear of God, I decided never to re-marry after his death (My Promise to him) , Since I accepted Christ as my Lord and savior it has been my most desire to carry out this humanitarian mission by setting up a foundation for charitable work, but my problem is that I am sick and feeble; I cannot run this gracious work by myself because I was diagnosed with a long time deadly cancer that has spread all over and has refused all forms of medications, my doctor, made it known to me that my condition is critical and that I may not live for a long time from now. But as a Christian, I believe that I shall not die but will live to see the goodness of God and achieve my last wish.
I have decided to use my life savings for the work of God, I have prayed concerning this donation asking God to provide a reliable and genuine person who will faithfully manage this fund for the proposed assignment for the children of God and not for any other thing that will not glorify the name of God. my dear, kindly respond to my email if you know in your heart that you are willing to accomplish this mission faithfully with this fund whether for orphanage home, Missionary school, Cancer Victims, Church for evangelism or whatever you may have in your mind that will be to the glory of God within your country and overseas.
My Dearest in the lord, I will advise you to pray concerning this divine mission, asking God to strengthen you both in will and in spirit for the execution of this humanitarian project and then get back to me on my private email (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
Mrs. Felicia Richards