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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Vanessa Serge <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2019 15:22:26 +0000 (UTC)
Please excuse this humble email if it offends your sensibilities;
I am Mrs. Selena Davis, 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
Yours Sister in the Lord.