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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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. Rani E. Madhusudan" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 16 Jun 2010 16:17:36 +0000 (GMT)
My name is Mrs. Rani E. Madhusudan here in UK, I decided to donate what I have to charity through you. You may be wondering why I chose you. But someone has to be chosen. I was diagnosed for cancer about 2years ago, immediately after the death of my husband who had left me everything he worked for.
I have been touched by the Lord to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to charity
through you for the good work of humanity, rather than allowing my relatives to use my husbands hard
earned funds inappropriately. I have asked the Lord to forgive me all my sins and I believe he has,
because he's merciful.
I will be going in for an operation, and I pray that I survive the operation. I have decided to Will/Donate
the fund through you for the good work of the Lord, and to help the motherless, less privileged and also for the assistance of the widows at the moment I cannot take any telephone calls, due to the fact that my
relatives are around me are tractors. I have been restricted by my doctor from taking telephone calls
because I can't hear properly as I deserve all the rest I can to get better. Presently, I have informed my lawyer about my decision in willing this fund to charity through you.
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others. If you are interested to be bless, also willing to bless others too, I will inform my family lawyer so that he can arrange the release of the funds to you. I know i have never met you but my mind tells me to do this and I hope you are sincerely. I am now too weak and fragile to do things myself because of my cancer. I will appreciate you forward me your details to enable my lawyer proceed with the notarization of the funds as a matter of urgency; email me all your contact details immediately.
Mrs. Rani E. Madhusudan