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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS KIM ABBOTT" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Apr 2011 20:30:52 -0700
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP TO GET THIS FOR ME!
Hello, Pls let this not sound strange to you
for my only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early
this year.i prayed and got you email id from your countrys
chambers of commerce which i have been with my late husband and
liked to visit once more if God will in his infinite mercies.
I am Mrs Kim Abbott ,I am 51 years old,i am deaf and suffering
from a long time cancer of the lungs which also affected my
brain,from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating
and it is quite obvious that, according to my doctors they have
advised me that i may not live for the next two months,this is
because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.
I was brought up from a motherless babies home, was married to my
late husband for twenty years without a child.My husband died in a
fatal motor accident.Before his death we were true Christians. Since
his death I decided not to re-marry,I sold all my inherited
belongings and deposited all the sum of $18.5million dollars with a
Presently, this money is still with them and the management just
wrote me as the true owner to come forward to receive the money
for keeping it so long or rather issue a letter of authorization
to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over
because of my illness or they get it confisticated.
Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been
undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my
ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few
months to live. It is my last wish to see that this money is invested
to any organisation of your choice and distributed each year among the
charity organization,the poor and the motherless babies home where i
come from.I want you God fearing, to also use this money to fund
churches, orphanages and widows.
I took this decision, before i rest in peace because my time will
soon be up. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the
contact of the Bank.I will also issue you a letter of
authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary of my fund.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly act as I stated herein.
Hoping to hear from you soon. Waiting for your reply.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Kim Abbott