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:
- "million 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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Josephine Briggs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Jun 2010 02:41:23 +0200
Subject: Hello Dear
My name is Mrs Josephine Briggs. I was born in USA. I married to Mr. Desmond Briggs, director J.D industries.I was brought up from a motherless babies home. i married to my late husband for twenty years without a child,he died in a fatal motor accident Before his death we were true Christians.Since his death I decided not to re-marry,I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum of $3.2 million dollars with a bank.
Presently, this money is still in their custody, and the management just wrote me as the Legitimate beneficiary to come forward to receive the money for keeping it for so long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over as a result of my illness
Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is my last wish to see that this money is invested to any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the charity organization,the poor and the motherless baby's home where I come from.and also use this money to fund churches, orphanages! And widows, I took this decision, before I rest in peace because my time will soon be up.
My dear I know that you will say why me after reading this message but I want you to understanding that contacting you in this donation fund is not by my power as you can see that none of us have see each other before, rather contacting you is a divine direction from God that knows the heart of all human beings that he created.
Dear I want you to know that the blessing of God does not count on religions rather on your faithfulness to his commandments and I dont want you to bring apply fears in this call
from God because when fear controls your life,it will reduce the ability of God in you.
Remember that the Holy Scripture has made us to understand that every obedient child has legal authority to his father, so you have the chance to ask our God questions concerning this notice from your sister Josephine Briggs whom you have never see before, I strongly believe that our good God will give you a clear revolutions over this service he has appointed you to handle for the survival of helpless once around you.
God said,I will strengthen and help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).
Fear not because our good God is on your side and will provide every material things for you in this service,Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary of my fund
Waiting for your reply , get back to me.
Yours in Christ
Mrs Josephine Briggs