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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "Eshe Beagley" <firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 18 Oct 2009 15:38:12 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: My venture for the needy
My sincere apologies for contacting you through this form and means but
the circumstances around me leaves me with no other choice.I am
prayerfully letting all to you hoping that you will respond positively and
wont betray my trust too. I may have to introduce myself. My name is Eshe
Beagley undergoing medical treatment in Leratong Hospital JohannesBurg.
south africa.i am married to dr. Aaron Beagley who worked with british
judical commission in england. We were married for fifteen years without a
child. Before his death on the 5th of july 2004.he made a vow to use his
wealth for the less privileged.he deposited the sum of 3.5 million pounds
with one security company in europe.presently, his money is still with the
company.recently, my doctor told me that i will not last for the next 4
months due to a rare form of cancer of the pancreas but what disturbs me
most is my stroke.i have decided to donate this funds to a god fearing
person who will
utilise it as my husband wished.I understand that blessed is the hand that
giveth. I took this decision because I do not have any child that will
inherit this money and my husband relatives are not inclined to helping
poor persons and I do not want my husbands hard earned money to be misused
or spent in the manner in which my late husband did not specify. I do not
want a situation where this money will be used in an ungod ly manner,
hence the reason for taking this bold decision. 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 Almighty. I do not need any telephone communication in this regard
because of my health, and because of the presence of my husband's
relatives around me always. I do not want them to know about this
development. With god all things are possible. As soon as I receive your
reply I shall give you the contact of the Finance/Security Company in
Europe. I 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 and Please assure me that you will act
according to my specification herein.
I shall provide you with more detailed explanation on the situation of
things after I have received your positive response to assist through
this and honestly too.
Note= direct your
response to this email for more information and for sake of
confidentiality [ email@example.com ].
I do not want anyone to infilterate into my intentions. you know how
people behave because of money. i have decided to let this out to you and
you alone so please just follow my leading
I anxiously await your reply
Mrs Eshe Beagley