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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Maeve Michel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 11 Jan 2019 11:10:09 +1200
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU
Greetings dear friend
Please kindly pardon me for any inconvenience this letter may cost you because I know it may come to you as a surprise as we have no previous correspondence. I am Mrs.Maeve Michel from Canada, I have been suffering from ovarian cancer disease and the doctor says that I have just few weeks to live. I am happy to know you, but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you at this point, so do not be afraid. I found your email address from the internet after honest prayers to the LORD to bring me a helper and i decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in good faith before anything happens to me.I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart, this massage mighty come to you as surprise but i chose to reach you through internet because it still remains the fastest medium of communication through this medium internet has been greatly abused. Please give me this little chance to explain myself to you, I would have like to meet you face to face before departing from this mother earth but due to the illness continue to deprive the chance but even if I die on the process of this operation I will still praise my God ALMIGHTY.
Now that I am about to end the race like this, without any family members and no child. I and my late husband have $10.5Million US Dollars in a Bank which I instructed the Bank to give St Andrews Missionary Home in Canada after this sickness started. But my mind is not at rest because I am writing this letter now through the help of my laptop beside my sickbed. We also have $10.5Million US Dollars at coris bank and I instructed the bank to transfer the fund to you as a foreigner business partner that will apply to there bank, That they should release the fund to you to start building orphanage homes and help poor people with it. But you will assure me that you will take 40% of the fund and use 60% to the orphanage homes in your country and other countries for my heart to rest.This money is still with them and the management just wrote me as the true owner to come forward to receive the money for keeping it so long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I cannot come over because of my illness or they get it confiscated. Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital here in where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. It is my last wish to see that this money is invested to any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization, the poor and the motherless babies' home. I want you as God fearing person, to also use this money to fund orphanages and widows; I took this decision, before I rest in peace because my time will soon be up. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of them. I am absolutely assuring you that no trouble is involved in this money because this is my late husband money.
I am a dying woman and i decided to donate what I have to you for charity work/assistance to less privileged people in the society. I am just 53 years old and I was diagnosed of cancer for about 7 years ago, immediately after the death of my husband, who has left me everything he worked for and because my doctor told me that i would not last for the period of one year due to cancer problem. I want this money to be share to the next privileged since I do not have a child to inherit the money and my late husband relatives all are non believers and I don't want my husband's hand earn money to be used in an ungodly ways. I am desperately in keen need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you for this task, you must not fail me and the millions of the poor people in our today world. This is not a stolen money and there are no dangers involved, is 100% risk free with full legal proof.I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust in this matter to accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything that will jeopardize my last wish. Respond to me immediately for further details, Contact me immediately.
Thanks and hope you will understand my point.
Mrs. Maeve Michel
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