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:
- "remain blessed" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "davis" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 2011 01:21:13 -0000
Subject: From Mrs Hilda Davis
From Mrs Hilda Davis
Hello dearest one my name is Mrs hilda davis from Australia. I am married to
Dr davis who worked with our Embassy in cote d ivoire for a period of 8 years
before he died We were married for 13 years without a child before he died
after a brief illness Since his death I decided not to marry again due to my
religious belief When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of
US$9.5m(Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand United State American dollars ) with
a Bank in cote d ivoire. Presently this money is still in the custody of the
Bank in cote d ivoire. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for
the next Four months due to cancer sickness.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this money to churchs,
organisation or good person that will utilise this money the way I am going to
instruct here in.
I want you to use this money for churchs, Charity organisation, orphanages,
widows and other people that are in need. l took this decision because I don''t
have any child that will inherit this money . Moreover, my husband relatives
are not close to me since I devolop a Cancer problem and it had been their wish
to see me dead in order to inherit his wealth since we have no Child. These
people are not worthy of this inheritance. This is why I am taking this
decision. As soon as I receive your reply I will give you the contact of the Bank
in cote d ivoire where this money was deposited. I will also issue a letter of
authorisation to the bank that will prove you the present beneficiary of this
money. I also want you to always put me in prayer.
Any delay in your reply may give me room to look for another good person for
this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated
here in. Be noted that this transation will cost you a little money to get the
changing of ownership certificate of the fund to your name,30% of the total
money will go for your own use and your family including the expenses you will
made while the rest of 70% will go for the churchs, Charity organisation,
orphanages, widows and other people that are in need.
Hoping to receive your response soonest,at (email@example.com)
Thanks and Remain blessed
Yours sister in the Lord
Mrs Hilda Davis