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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "shanonan cindy" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Nov 2018 06:55:11 -0800
Subject: URGENT ATTENTION
My Dear beloved,
I am Mrs. CIndy Shannon now undergoing medical treatment now. I am married to Dr. Shannon who worked with South Africa embassy before,Who past away in the year 2006. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians. I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home, which the Bible is against.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 10.6 Million USD with a Bank in Europe, this money is still with the bank.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not Last for the next three months due to cancer and what disturbs me most is my stroke.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct.
Get back to me for more details.
Mrs. Cindy Shannon