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:
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: LILLIAN HORTON <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 24 Aug 2019 14:37:23 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP
Donation For Orphanages
From: Mrs.Lillian Horton
My name is Mrs. Lillian Horton, a widow and a devoted Christian from Australian. I am married to Late Engr Robert Horton who worked with Australian Embassy in USA for 20 years before he died in the year 2010. We were married for 15 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 and we lived happily.
Since the Death of my late husband, I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is really against. When my late husband was alive he secured US$5.6M (Five Million, Six Hundred thousand Dollars) with HS BSBC BANK here in USA. Presently, this money is still with the financial institution. After the death of my late husband, I have been suffering from arthritis. Two months ago, my doctor has diagnosed me with terminal cancer and stroke; I have approximately twelve months to live. But what disturbs me most now is stroke. I am currently confined to a wheelchair, and am being cared by a nurse.
Before the Death of my late husband, he make it clear to me that %40 should be given to you for receiving the fund in your Bank Account while %60 should be used for Orphanages and Widows (humanitarian work).We have no children and me husband didn't want his brothers to inherit the fund. My Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that grivets. I and my late husband took this decision because we don't have any child that will inherit this money.
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. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the HSBC Bank in USA where the fund was deposited. I will also give you all information regarding the deposit of this fund. I want you and your family to always pray for me because God work in mysterious ways. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein %60 of US$5.6M (Five Million, Six Hundred thousand Dollars) for humanitarian purposes %40 for you.
Hoping to hear from you soon via email address firstname.lastname@example.org
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Lillian Horton