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:
- 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)
- "% will be for you" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: linda vells <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 28 Jul 2011 09:30:46 -0700
Subject: PLEASE HANDLE THIS PROJECT WITH FEAR OF GOD.
Dearest Friend Nancy Burg nancy,
I am Mrs.Linda Huspage Vells from Netherland, I am 68 years old, I am
suffering from a long time cancer of the breast, from all indication
my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I
can't work or do any stressful thing, according to my doctors they
have advised me that I may not live for the next two months, this is
because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I was brought
up from a motherless babies home was married to my late husband for
twenty years without a child,
My Husband Huspage 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 USD$4.6 Million dollars with a Bank in London. Presently, this money
is still with the Bank and the management just wrote me as the true
owner to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of
authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not
come over because of my illness.
So instead of getting it confiscated I rather have someone whom I can
trust to receive the funds and utilize it according to my wishes.
And the best part of it is, the Bank told me in the letter that they
can have the funds released to my approved person .
Presently, I am using my laptop in the hospital at Germany where I
have been undergoing treatment for my sickness. I have since lost my
ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only more 2
months to live.
It is my last wish to see atleast 60% of this money is
invested/donated to any organisation/buisness of your choice and
distributed each year among the charity organization, e.g. the poor
homes, the motherless babies home where I came from, the deaf homes,
and churches etc and 40% will be for your Well doing.
All I seek for is a God fearing person like you ,who will carry out my
last wishes and before I emailed you today i prayed and the holy
spirit gave me the confidence to send you this email. I took this
decision, before I rest in peace because my time will soon be up. As
soon as I receive your reply I will give you the contact of
the Bank in London.
Please send me your Full name,full Address,Age,Occupation and phone no.
All I need from you is a confidential assurance that the funds when
received by you will be used for the said purpose, Nowadays there are
so much scams going on in the internet and it is difficult to trust
but I dont know why the Holy spirit still approved me to email you
about this out of few email addresses I have from the internet, yours
was the only one that my mind convinced me to contact.
Waiting for your reply.
Yours in Christ,