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: "Mrs. Maureen Greaves" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 14:56:37 +0100
Subject: Very Urgent
My Name is 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 Alan
Greaves; 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 Saviors Church in Sheffield and he died in hospital three
days later as you can confirm this link as stated below:
A year after his murder, organist Alan Graves' widow .
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 .
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 detail 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)