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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "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 next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Rose Sigcau <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2011 09:38:05 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE
Dear Friend ,
As you read this mail,my desire is that You find a
Place in Your heart to assist me in fulfilling my late husband's last
Wish/Will.I am Mrs.Rose Sigcau from Northern Ireland .My husband was
into cocoa business in Ivory-coast for thirty two years before he died
in the year 2007. Presently,I am in a hospital in the United Arab
Emerite (UAE) undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer and recently my
Doctor told me that I have a very short time to live due to this Health
problem and i had stroke recently.
I and My Husband were
married for twenty five years without a child. Before my husband's
death,he deposited the sum of (US$18.500.000.00) (Eighteen Million,Five
Hundred Thousand United States Dollars)which was concealed in a
Diplomatic Box and Lodged with a Security Company as Family Valuables
and no one knows of this huge
cash deposit till Date.During my husband's final hours in his sick
bed,he instructed me that the money should be used for the less
previlleged in the society.
Having known my condition,I decided
to write to you from my heart and hoping that you will not betray me.Now
what i need from you is your good assistance in helping me execute my
late husband's last wish / will since i am no longer in the position to
do it because of my present health condition. Please i want you to use
this money for charity works and i am offering you 20% of the total
funds for your assistance again keep this business highly confidential
because relatives have plundered so much of my Late Husband's wealth
since my illness.
I shall furnish You with relevant information
which will authorise the release of these Funds to You as my assigned
representative immediately you confirm your acceptance to act on my
behalf. Please reply immediatel so that this funds can be
released to you while i am still alive.