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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Melissa Maruko Ali " <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 16 Jan 2022 19:36:31 +0200
Subject: From Mrs. Melissa Maruko Ali
From Mrs. Melissa Maruko Ali
Membership in Turkish Parliament Association
My Dearest One,
Greetings to you,
Let me start by introducing myself, My name is Mrs. Melissa Maruko Ali. I have been suffering from blood and breast cancer disease and the doctor says that I have just a short time to live. For the past Twelve years, I have being dealing on Coal exportation, before falling ill.
My late husband, Dr. Maruko Bernard Ali, a retired diplomat and one time minister of mines and Power in the republic of Turkey made a lot of money from the sales of Gold and cotton while he was a minister, but we had only one child Name Mustafa Ali, he is only 9-years. later, my husband realized through a powerful Man, that it was evil course instituted by his brother in other to inherit his wealth, but before then it was too late, I and my husband agreed that he should remarry another wife but our Religion did not permit it, while planning this my husbandâs brother heard it and they planned and killed my husband at the age of 68, he died in the month of September 2019.
Please I know this may come to you by surprise, because you did not know me, I needed your assistance that was why I write you through divine direction, it is my desire of going into relationship with you. Before his death we were both born Muslim. Now that I am very sick and according to the doctor, will not survive the sickness.The worst of it all is that I do not have any family members, expect my little Boy but he is too small to handle This.I am writing this letter now through the help of the computer beside My sick bed. . When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of USD$30.5M (Thirty Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) with Finance/Bank Presently, I am willing to instruct my Bank to transfer the said fund to you as my foreign Trustee. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian individual Or a Muslim that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want a person or church that will use this fund to churches, orphanages, research centers and widows propagating the work of Charity and to ensure that the house of Orphanage is maintained.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Finance/Bank. I am offering you 20% of the principal sum which amounts to US$6,100.000.00 (Six million One Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) and 5% will be for any expenses that both of us may Insure in this transaction. And another 5% will go for Motherless babes home. However, you have to assure me and also be ready to go into agreement with me that you will not elope with my fund. If you agree to my terms,
My Regards to your Family,
Mrs. Melissa Maruko Ali.