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:
- 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Khariklo Aiolos." (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2009 04:27:00 -0600
Subject: Calvary Greetings.
Please read this slowly and carefully, as it may be one of the most important emails you ever get.I am Mrs. Khariklo Aiolos. from Greece . I was married to Late Mike Aiolos. The Director of Vikhroli Link.Ltd,a seasoned contractor in West African Region. He died on Monday, 31 July 2003 in Paris.
We were married for seven years without a child. After his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home.When my late husband was alive, he has over the sum of $5.2 Million USD in banks and security companies in Europe, which is yet unclaimed.My Doctor told me that I would not last long due to cancer problem that befalled me. Having known my condition I decided to donate this funds to better the lives of the less privileged. I need honest and trust worthy individual that will utilize this money in accordance with my instruction.
I want the funds to be used in funding religious organizations,orphanages and less privileged propagating the word of God. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are very unkind to me and I don't want my husbands hard earned money to be misused.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord. Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my course and I shall hold my peace. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you my attorney contact who shall guide you through and shall also give you a copy of my WILL.
For legitimacy, he will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original-beneficiary of this fund. I want you to always pray for me, any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for another individual for this same purpose. If you are not interested, kindly pardon me for contacting you.