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" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2022 05:12:46 -0700
Subject: Greetings in the name of Lord
Greetings in the name of Lord
My name is Mrs. Peninnah Ariel Benaiah I am a Norway Citizen who is living
in Burkina Faso, I am married to Mr. Brunel Patrice, 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
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 name.
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.
Mrs. Peninnah Ariel Benaiah