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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Hillary Brett" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 15 Oct 2009 17:51:54 -0700
Subject: FOR CHARITIES
Beloved Is your Turn to Shine !! Reply As you Are Chosen By God.
I am Mrs. Hillary Brett now undergoing medical treatment. You may be wondering why I chose you. But someone has to be chosen.
I am 59 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about 2years ago,immediately after the death of my husband who had left me
everything he worked for.
I am married to Dr. Peter Brett who worked with South Africa embassy in Italy for nine years before he died in the year 2007.
Before my Husband died, we both make a deposite of a total sum $7.6M in a Vault security and Finance Company in Europe.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I few month to live due to cancer problem.
Having known my condition I have decided to donate this fund to a honest Person.
My Attorney will issue you a Letter of Authority from Court naming you the original Beneficiary of these funds.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.
Hoping to hear from you.
In His Arms.
Mrs. Hillary Brett.