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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Juliet Pido" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Jun 2009 14:14:00 +0400 (MSD)
Subject: Please very urgent!
Compliments of the day to you! By this e-mail, I do sincerely apologise
for my intrusion of your privacy. However, I have a serious concern with
which I believe you might be of help and for this reason, I can not but
reach out to someone. My name as given here is Mrs.Juliet Pido, a
Nationality of Philippines . I am married to Mr.David Jones Pido, who
worked with European Union Office in ABIDJAN IVORY COAST for Ten years
before he was killed in an earthquake accident in southeastern
Alaska,United States of America.
We were a dedicated Christians (Catholic) and decided to serve mankind to
the best of our ability. Since his death, I have lived with the memories,
fighting effortelessly to live a normal life but all to no avail. I
suffered mentally and psychologically and shortly was diagnosed of Cancer.
I lived with the scourge praying earnestly for divine intervention. Just a
month ago, the doctor informed me that I have just about three months more
to live. I was not shocked. I accepted the news in good fate. My dear
beloved, it is in this regard that I write to you, having sourced your
address from a database in my late husband's internet dozier after fervent
prayers. Before my husband died, he deposited a sum of $5.3 Million (Five
millioan three Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with a security
company. I alone have the deposit details and they will release the
deposit to no one unless I instruct them to do so.The security company has
no single idea of what's the history or nature of the deposit. They are
simply awaiting instructions to release the deposit to any party that I
may direct. This is the situation. I will simply nominate you as the next
of kin and have them release the deposit to you.
I have whole heartedly decided to donate the entirety of this fund to any
devoted believer or organisation and to achieve this, I need an individual
that will utilize this funds adherently for these purposes:
1: For the sick, less-privilledged and de stitute
2: For the Widows and the motherless babies e.t.c.
3: orphanages, Research centres and widows propagating.
These are the wishes of a dying woman.They are the desires of my heart,
hence my decision as I do not have a child to take over my inheritance.
Please, understand that I am not doing this because of fear of death as I
am certain where my place already is. At this point, friends,well wishers,
and my husbands relatives are all clampered around me as I sojourn in my
hospital bed and are unaware of my plight, hence I will not be able to
make an open conversation. When I receive your response, I will direct you
at once to an attorney who shall assist you with the deposit portfolio
transfer of ownership procedures. The transfer of ownership certification
cost and other miscellaneous expense shall be bear by you.For this
purpose,i have decided to offer you 27% of the total sum.This offer is
bascially to reward you for your dedication and time.I wish to state here
that my communication with you will seize once i have given you the
attorney contact and of course a letter of authority mandating the
security company to entertain your claims of right of ownership.
All I need from you is Truthfulness, Honesty and Sincerity assuring me
that you can in all honesty and obedience utilize the funds for the
purpose with which it is meant. In any a case, a quick response from you
will be highly appreciated as I am already on a count-down and may not
have ample time to finalize the procedures. Any delay in response may
compel me to source for other measures or perhaps choose the alternative
which I will not be happy to. Please, do not see this as a strange
possibility or an unbeliveable opportunity to make wealth, rather see this
as a rare chance to assist the less priviledged in truth and in spirit
with a substance.Do not betray my confidence in you.
Note: This is my email address email@example.com
Thank You and Bless You richly as I look forward to hear from you.!
Mrs. Juliet Pido