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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Susanne Waner" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 05 Mar 2020 09:36:21 +1300
Subject: GOOD DAY MY DEAR BELOVED; CAN I TRUST YOU ?
It is by the grace of God that I was born again, having known the truth; I had no choice than to do what is lawful and just in the sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man for witness of God & His Mercies and glory upon my life.
I am Mrs. Susanne Waner ,the wife of Dr.John Waner from Germany, Who work with a America oil company in Africa for twenty years before he died in the year 2013.
We were married for ten years without a child. My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we both got born-again as dedicated Christians.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 2 .5 Million (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) with a Bank. Presently, this money is still with the Bank and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary that our account has been DORMANT and if I, as the beneficiary of the funds, do not re-activate the account; the funds will be CONFISCATED or I rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf as I can not come over.
Presently, I'm in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live. It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations and NGO anywhere in the World in helping human race.
Because relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to any of them. Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me Stand-in as the beneficiary and collect the Funds from the Bank.I want a person that is God-fearing who will use this money to fund churches,orphanages and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my soundless voice and presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.I await your quick response to this mail as this is my last wish to see this funds transferred before my Death.Please my beloved for further communication on how we are going to conclude this, Kindly reply me on my personal E.mail address:( firstname.lastname@example.org ).
Your Sister in tears,
Mrs. Susanne Waner.