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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Olga Igorchenko" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 10 May 2012 06:58:37 +0400
Subject: Ìèð âàì! ...Peace Be Upon You!
Ìèð âàì! ...Peace Be Upon You!
I am Mrs. Olga Igorchenko a citizen of the Russian Federation but currently residing in the United Kingdom. I was married to Late Vladimir Simonovich Igorchenko of blessed memory who was an oil explorer in Iraq and Libya for twelve years before he was killed by other Russian Mafian gangs in 2009. We were married for twelve years without a child; he died after being posioned in a meeting with his business friends and try to survived the poisoning but due to the seriousness of the posioning he passed away after four days. Since his death I too have been battling with both Cancer and fibroid problems. When my late Husband was alive he deposited a substantial amount of money worth US$9.6Million with a bank in the United Kingdom which I inherited after his death.
Recently, my doctor told me that I have only 2 month to live due to my ailment. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to either a charity/orphanage home or devoted God fearing individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct therein. I want this organization or individual to use this money in all sincerity to fund charity homes (motherless homes), orphanages, and widows. I took this decision because I dont have any child that will inherit this money and my husbands relatives who are a conspiracy to his death want this money to sponsor the radical terrorist revolution group from the Chechen region of Russia and I dont want a situation where this money will be used in an unholy manner, hence the reasons for this bold decision. Please, pray for me to recover as your prayers will go a long way in uplifting my spirit.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you further directives on what to do and how to go about actualizing this project. I will also instruct my lawyer to file an application on your behalf to the bank where the funds were deposited for the transfer of the money to you for this purpose. I want you to always pray for me. Any delay in your reply will give room in sourcing for an organization or a devoted Individual for this same purpose.
Until I hear from you by email; my dreams will rest squarely on your shoulders.
Mrs. Olga Igorchenko