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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "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)
- "god fearing " (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Aij Heidi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2018 21:17:16 -0400
Subject: Greeting dear friend,
Greetings in the name of the God Almighty, I know this letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a long way to determine my future and continued existence. I am Mrs. Aij Heidi aging widow of 68 years old suffering from long time illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of ($16.5Million Dollars) in the bank and I needed a very honest and God fearing who can withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. 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 sending this message to you praying that it will reach you in good health, since I myself are not in good health condition in which I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I will want you to help me claim this money on my behalf as I canât be able to receive this money based on my deteriorating health. I am writing this from my laptop computer in my hospital bed where I wait for my time to come.
I am suffering from long time cancer and presently i am partially suffering from a stroke illness which has become almost impossible for me to move around. I am married to my late husband for over 26 years before he died and is unfortunately that we donât have a child, my husband relatives are not close to me since I develop a cancer problem and it had been their wish to see me dead in order to inherit his wealth since we have no Child. My happiness is that I have lived a worthy life. My doctor told me that I have serious sickness which is cancer problem. Knowing my condition I decided to donate my funds to you. I want this fund to be used for the orphanages, poor and widows. Please i do not want a situation where this fund will be used in an ungodly manner like what my late husband family members have done in the past. That's why I'm taking this decision. I'm not afraid of death because I know where I'm going. Please have me in your prayers always.
I accept this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money after I die, I want you to use the 40/percent of the total amount to help yourself in doing the project. 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 todayâs world. This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved 100% risks free with full legal proof. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the Charity works kindly let me know immediately. 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. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. 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.Please kindly respond quickly for further details through my private e-mail address:email@example.com
I wait your response immediately for you to handle this project on my behalf
Thanks and God bless you,
Mrs. Aij Heidi