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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Karim Hani" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 25 Aug 2009 13:33:23 +1300
Subject: Karim Hani needs your assistance..
This letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met. I have to say that I have no intentions of causing you any pains so i decided to contact you through this medium.
As you read this, I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I believe everyone will die someday. My name is Karim Hani, a merchant in Dubai, in the U.A.E. I have been diagnosed with prostate and esophageal Cancer that was discovered very late due to my laxity in caring for my health. It has defiled all form of medicine and right now, I have only about a few months to live according to medical experts.
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe if i have a second chance to come to this world I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that I know my time is near, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close friends and Schools in the UAE. I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the U.A.E, England and Ireland. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this my self any more. I once asked members of
I want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatched it to charity organizations and let them know that it is I Karim Hani that is making this generous donation.
I am writing this from my laptop computer in my hospital bed in England where I wait for my time to come. If you are interested to help me i will give you more information about this like the amount that i deposited in the bank and Contact of the bank so you can contact them. I will also send you pictures of my self when in the hospital.
Note that you will take 20% out of the funds and give 80% to the charity organizations. I pray that God uses you to support and assist me with good heart God be with you.
If you can help respond back to me on my private email: email@example.com