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:
- 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:
- "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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Christina Liang" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2011 03:00:01 +0800
Subject: Reply Asap
Beloved in Christ,
I Greetings in the name of our lord Jesus Chris I am Mrs. Christina Liang , a 52yrs old widow to late Mr.
Fredrick Liang from Switzerland. I am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the
breast, and from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that I might
not live up to 3 months, according to my doctors.This is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad
stage. My late husband died last year, and during the period of our marriage we could not produce any child.
My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his business and wealth; Based on the
doctors reports that I might not live up to three months. My late husband family intentions is to allow me
die in this condition because I do not have any child, that what pushed me to source for a Godly person
abroad who will make this claim of $4.5 Million dollars which we deposited in a security firm here in
I will give you all the information you will need to make this claim of this fund once I receive a positive
response from you and also your assurance that you will not betray this confidence that I am reposing in
you. I am doing this because my family are unbelievers and I will not allow them inherit this money for
their own selfishness. I have come to find out that wealth acquisition without Jesus Christ is vanity.
Your sister in Christ,
Mrs. Christina Liang.