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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "transfer into your account" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "CKL" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 7 Feb 2011 18:06:54 -0800
Subject: Are you ready ?From Mrs.Cecilia
Avenida Marginal 42 Julho, Sao Tome,
Sao Tome Island .
Do accept my sincere apologies if my mail does not meet your personal ethics. I sincerely ask for forgiveness for i know this may seem like a complete intrusion to your privacy but right about now this is my option of communication.
This note might seem strange or probably untrue considering the amount of junk mails we receive daily, but i believe this is still the most genuine way of contacting a true character like you.
I will introduce myself as Mrs.Cecilia T.Kelvin. I am married to Eng.T.Kelvin who works with the "OPEC" before he died in the year 2004, as a result of one of our son's brutal murder in Saudi Arabia by unknown gun men. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Since his death I decided never to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which my culture is against.
However, the most painful and annoying part of it is that my husband's relatives have been on my neck. They said I was behind my husband death which is never true. They sent me packing and threw me out of my matrimonial home which I have suffered for with my late husband for so many years. I have nowhere to go to, so I decided to go back to my motherland to stay with my family to get myself organized and carter for my children.
Before my husband died, he made me to understand that he deposited the sum of $42 million (Fourty-Two Million U.S. Dollars) with a security company. He told me to look for a person or company in overseas and not from our place to assist and claim this fund for investment overseas especially in your country.
We have interest in Importation,Aviation industries,Stocks,Tourism,Real Estate,Cnstruction,Hotels,Agriculture,oil and gas etc. Please, I hereby request for your urgent assistance to help my family in investing the money as a partnership investment with your company or any investment that both of us will benefit from it. Presently, this money is still under the safe keeping of the security company. I dont want my husbands relatives to know about this development.
Please tell me in confidence, can you handle it? Can you invest this huge amount of money successfully on behalf of my family? Please advise most urgently.
In a short time, I will arrange a meeting with you and my eldest son who will accompany you to the security company where the investment fund was deposited by his late father for easy claim and quick transfer.
My Eldest son will be assisting me to facilitate this transaction and both of you will make arrangements to have this funds claimed and transfer into your account.
I will issue you a letter of authority that will empower you to claim this fund with other related documents if you are ready to work with us.
Upon your acceptance of this offer, we shall discuss about your share in this transaction.
Waiting for your urgent response.
Yours in Sincerely,