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: "BEN WILSON" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 18 Jun 2019 14:29:06 -0700
Subject: May God Bless You abundantly.
May God Bless You abundantly.
I am in need of your assistance but I do not know how trust worthy you are; I want to make a donation to the poor and needy through you. My name is Ben Wilson and I am an American citizen, I live in London . Right now, I am in the hospital, 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 months to live and I am very much worried about my health condition which is getting bad day by day. But I know that my redeemer blivet, he is a merciful God and he can decide to keep me longer than expected.
Before I became ill, I kept US$ 7.5 Million in a long-term deposit account in a finance company in London which I wanted to invest into long term business venture.Now that it has become obviously clear that I will not survive this cancer sickness, it is really unfortunate that I have to end my life so short. However, I have decided that I must give my wealth to the poor and needy just for assistance. if you can be trusted, I will like to leave the funds under your care so that you can utilize it by taking care of those in dare need of help. Mostly, if you can donate to motherless, widows, less privileged and hurricane victims, I will highly appreciate it.
Please, kindly reply to me urgently with your full name and address, occupation, religion, including your direct telephone number so that I can give you more information. I will continue to pray about it until I hear from you. Legal documents relating to the deposit of the funds in London will also be made available to you.Until I hear from you, may the Almighty God continue to bless you and give you the wisdom on how to utilize the funds when finally released to you.
Mr Wilson Ben