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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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)
- "god fearing " (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr Mitchell Lemon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 27 Mar 2011 15:29:58 -0300 (BRT)
Subject: God Bless!!!
I am Mr Mitchell Lemon from Kuala Lumpur Malaysia i got your email address contact after
a reliable search from the internet, but now i am undergoing medical treatment in
London, England.I worked with British Drilling Corporation East London for over a decade
I married for fifteen years without a child. my wife died after a brief illness that
lasted for two weeks.I vow to use my wealth for the down trodden and the less privileged
in the society. Since the doctor had comfirmed my situation that I will not live long I
have decided to give out my money to the poor. Deposited the sum of 12 Million pounds
(Twelve Million Pounds sterling) with my personal bank account in UK. Presently, this
money is still there in the bank called Natwest Bank Plc.
Recently,my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next 12 days due to cancer
problem.Though what disturbs me most is my stroke. Having known my condition I decided
to donate this fund to an individual or better still a God fearing person who will
utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want an individual that
will use this to fund and provide succor to poor and indigent persons, orphanages, and
above all those affected in the Tsunami in far Asia and the Hurricane Katrina Disasters
with earthquake area like Haiti.I understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I
took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my
relatives are not inclined to helping poor persons and I do not want my hard earned
money to be misused or spent in the manner I will not like and I also do not want a
situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for
taking this bold decision.I am not afraid of death hence I
know where I am going.I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Almighty because
we all came to this world to trade whereby you sow and you reap but i traded well so i
know its time for me to go back to answer him when the time comes for him to ask what i
sow and i sowed well and i will reap well in his bossom. I do not need any telephone
communication in this regard because of my health, and because of the presence of my
relatives around me always. I do not want them to know about this development. with God
all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of
the Natwest Bank Plc UK account officer who is
incharge of my funds in their bank. I will also issue them a letter of authority and
change of ownership certificate,that will empower you as the original beneficiary of
this fund,through my Lawyer. I want you to always pray for me. My happiness is that I
lived a life worthy of emulation. Whosoever that wants to serve the Almighty must serve
him with all his heart and mind and soul and also in truth. Please always be prayerful
all through your life.Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for an
individual for this same purpose.Please assure me that you will act according to my
Hoping to hear from you at my private email:email@example.com
Thank you and may the Almighty bless you. God Bless You,
Mr Mitchell Lemon