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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Rosalie Kimbacala <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 12:14:53 -0700 (PDT)
My name is Mrs Rosalie Kimbacala a nationality of Angola. I am married to late Mr. Frank Kimbacala who worked with Angola embassy in Ivory Coast for Nine years before he died in Octorber 2008. We were married for twenty years with a child. He died after a the illness that lasted for only four days. When my late husband was alive we deposited the sum of $5.5Million (Five Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars) with one of good banks here in Cote d'Ivoire .
Presently, this money is still with the bank. Recently my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next three months due to my cancer problem. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to the needs or an individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.
I want a person that will use this fund to help the needes, orphanages, research centres and widows . I took this decision because I have a child that will inherit this money but my son can not carryout this work alone because i and my late husband decide to use some of the money to help the needes and leave some for our son to have a better life. our son is just 17yearold now and been grow up in africa, he have low manterity and my husband´s relatives are evil that they have wanted to kill me and my son and I don´t want my family hard earned money to be misused.
I want your telephone communication in this regard because of my health conditon my Doctor told me to avoid recieveing telephone call and because of the presence of my family relatives around me always .call my son his name is Frank Junior, Immediately you recievd this message. I don´t want any of my husband family relatives to recieve this money.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Finance/bank. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will empower you as the new beneficiary of this fund.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here and I want you to send to me your full name,address,telephone and fax numbers.
Mrs. Rosalie Kimbacala.