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:
- 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:
- "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)
- "u.k " (this email uses bad English)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045790299 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Mary Schneider" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 06:43:51 -0800
Subject: Good will massage
Dear Beloved Friend in Christ
I am Mrs. Mary Schneider married to Engr. Fritz Schneider a German citizen who worked with BAM Construct United Kingdom for Twenty Years. My husband died in the AF4590 Concorde Plane Crash July 2000, we are married without any children. View this website
Since after the death of my husband, I decided not to remarry and presently am 60 years old. When my husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$10.5 Million (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) with a Bank in London. Presently the funds are still with the bank and the management wrote me as the next beneficiary to my late husband to come forward to receive his benefits or have the account confiscated but due to my health condition am unable to go and claim the money as I see no need for it due to my health and life status at this time, but I can authorize someone else I trust to stand as an appointed next of kin on my behalf to receive it.
I have a deadly disease on my Lungs called CANCER and from doctor / physician indications my condition is really deteriorating and is quite obvious that my death is very close to me as I can see my life quickly ebbing away. The stage is worst more than ten months now and I have been hospitalized which affected my ability to talk. I am an orphan, no family back ground, no Parents, brothers, sisters or relatives but my country home origin is Australia where my late husband and I met. We were working in the same construction company in Australia before my late husband was posted and transferred to United Kingdom, which I relocated with him. Due to my poor health condition and based on doctors report, am scared that my life is almost at the end, so I decided to distribute the funds through your great influence and assistant as a widows dying wish by utilizing 80% of the total money to the following organizations like churches, orphanages home, handicaps, widows and widowers aro!
und the world for the happiness of
If I receive your reply, Ill give you all the information on how to collect the money from the bank where the fund is been deposited. With the help of my attorney a letter of authority declaring you as the next appointed beneficiary to the fund and how you will utilize or disburse 80% from the total sum will be given to you. Please assure me that you will make my dieing wishes come true, while you act accordingly.
In the case of my inability to reply your email, here is my attorney contact information, to assist you in claiming the money for my husbands and myself wishes.
BARRISTER JAMES FINUCANE (Esq.)
For F. Cole Chambers & Advocates
Address: 60 BAYS WATER RD, LONDON W2 3PS U.K
Tel: + 44 704 5790299
I expect your prompt reply and wish you will put me in your prayers hence forth.
Thanks and God bless you.
Mrs. Mary Schneider