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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Josette Ethan" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Josette Ethan" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2017 22:29:29 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: Remain bless,
I'm Mrs. Josette Ethan the widow of late Mr Ethan, I'm 68 years old. I am a suffering from prolonged cancer of the breast, from all medical indications my condition has really deteriorated and it's pretty obvious that i may not live for more than six months owning to the rapid growth by stage and the excruciating pain that accrues to it. My husband was killed during the Political War in the country, and our long years of marriage were not blessed with any child, after his death I inherited all his business and funds. My doctor has diagnosed and told me what i should expect, building my spirit for the inevitable. He says i may not last for more than 6 months, based on this i have taken the decision to share part of my funds and wealth in contribution to the development of the Church and society with major focus on the poor, needy and victims of HIV / AIDS.
I selected you after visiting the website having prayed over it, I am willing to donate the sum of $6.300,000 USD for your work to help the poor, needy,and less privileged among your congregations/society. Please note that this fund is deposited in a bank in the country where my husband worked, My lawyer will file the application for the transfer of this money in your name and information's, for the release of the money to your account. Finally i honestly employ you to make sure that these funds are put to use only for this purpose, remember these are the demands of a dying woman who has a life in the lord. I now realize that wealth without life in Christ is vanity. For a favourable opinion, please contact me for more information because I don't know what may happen next. May the grace and blessings of God be and remain with you.
Mrs. Josette Ethan