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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MS MAUREEN GREAVE <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 3 Sep 2021 18:51:28 +0200
Subject: My Beloved in Christ,
*My Beloved in Christ,Permit me to share with you, my desire to go into
Godly business partnership with you. I got your profound contact email from
a computerized data, following my fasting & praying effort searching for a
reliable and trustworthy person to assist me in this venture.I am Mrs.
Maureen Greaves, married to Late Alan Greaves (PhD} who worked with ( Total
S.A.) the French Multinational Integrated Oil and Gas Company and one of
the five "Super major" oil companies in the world as their Africa drilling
rig supplier for 17 years before his death On Christmas Eve 2013.Before his
death we were both devout born again Christian; lay-preacher and former
social worker and my late husband AlanGreaves; was an organist at the
church for 40 years, before his was attacked and beaten with a pickaxes on
his way to play at Midnight Mass at St Saviour's Church in Sheffield and he
died in hospital three days later as you can confirm this link as stated
year after his murder, organist Alan Graves' widow ...www.dailymail.co.uk
<http://www.dailymail.co.uk> The widow of a church organist fatally injured
on Christmas Eve last year played a leading role in an emotional candlelit
service at the spot where he was attacked
<http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-25417344>When my late
husband was alive he deposited the sum of ($15.5M) with a bank in Cotonou
Benin where he worked for 17 years last as the (TotalS.A.) Africa drilling
rig supplier.I am contacting you because of the recent report from my
Doctor told me that I have some weeks to live due to cardiac and kidney
failure problem, having known my condition, I seek your concept and
permission to present you to the bank as as my late husband foreign
investors to retrieve the fund and utilize for establishing an orphanages
home for the poor and needy, and also propagating the word of God and to
endeavor that the house of God is maintained.I shall give you the full
detailed documents of the fund as soon as I hear from you.Any delay in your
reply will give me room in sourcing another good person for this same
purpose.Hoping to receive your response immediately.Thanks and Remain
blessed in the Lord.I Remain yours sister in Christ.Mrs. Maureen A.
Greaves(Church Army evangelist).*