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: "Mrs. Peninnah Ariel Benaiah" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 03:52:16 -0700
Subject: Remain Blessed
*Remain Blessed My name is Mrs. Peninnah Ariel Benaiah I am a Norway
Citizen who is living in Burkina Faso, I am married to Mr. Benaiah
Jeremiah, a politician who owns a small gold company in Burkina Faso; He
died of Leprosy and Radesyge, in the year February 2010, During his
lifetime he deposited the sum of â¬ 8.5 Million Euro) Eight million, Five
hundred thousand Euros in a bank in Brussels the capital city of Belgium in
Europe The money was from the sale of his company and death benefits
payment and entitlements of my deceased husband by his company. I am
sending you this message with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my
heart, and also praying that it will reach you in good health because I am
not in good health, I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive
to see the next day. I am suffering from long time cancer and presently I
am partially suffering from Leprosy, which has become difficult for me to
move around. I was married to my late husband for more than 6 years without
having a child and my doctor confided that I have less chance to live,
having to know when the cup of death will come, I decided to contact you to
claim the fund since I don't have any relation I grew up from an orphanage
home. I have decided to donate this money for the support of helping
Motherless babies, Less privileged, Widows and churches also to build the
house of God because I am dying and diagnosed with cancer for about 3 years
ago. I have decided to donate from what I have inherited from my late
husband to you for the good work of Almighty God; I will be going in for
an operation surgery soon. Now I want you to stand as my next of kin to
claim the funds for charity purposes. Because of this money remains
unclaimed after my death, the bank executives or the government will take
the money as unclaimed fund and maybe use it for selfishness and worthless
ventures, I need a very honest person who can claim this money and use it
for Charity works, for orphanages, widows and also build schools and
churches for less privilege that will be named after my late husband and my
* I need your urgent answer to know if you will be able to execute this
project, and I will give you more information on how the fund will be
transferred to your bank account or online banking. *
* Thanks Mrs. Peninnah Ariel Benaiah*