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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Mrs vanessa harrison" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2011 13:25:37 -0800
Subject: AWAIT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE
My name is Mrs. Matilda Lewis, I am 59 years old and I was diagnosed for cancer
for about 2 years ago. I have being lying critically ill at the hospital since
November 12th, 2010
when I was recently diagnosed with Hypoglycemia. I decided to WILL/donate the
sum of ($18,258,000.00).
I know for sure you will be surprised if such things still happens, believe me
the doctor says my chance of survival is based on 80/20. I am not in the
position disburse these funds myself as a result of my health. I decided to will
it to you so you can help me disburse the funds to some charity organization in
your country. Am helping you, so you can develop the time to disburse these
funds on my behalf.
Arrangements have been made with my attorney on how these funds should be
transferred to your account from my bank in London. The necessary documents have
been signed and ascertained. I am in an Intensive ward where I do not have
access to receive calls as a result of my health condition.
I have no family but relatives who has embezzled my hard earned money years ago;
I really do not think they would have pity on me despite my condition by
fulfilling my wish to help the charity with these funds.
You are to work with my attorney who will assist in these funds transfer to your
account. I paid for the State tax on the day of deposit with the Bank. Contact
my lawyer with this info: Mrs.Vanessa Harrison
Email : (firstname.lastname@example.org) .Tell her that i have willed this money to you.
If you find this mail appealing, kindly contact my attorney by quoting this
SWIFT CODE to her (CLYDGB21647). I write this mail to
you solemnly with the faith that you will assist me in my last wish.
Meanwhile you are advised to keep this mail and it contents confidential as i
really want my wish accomplish at the end of the day without any of my relatives
knowing about these funds, Please do remember me in your prayers as I give you
the assurance that this is legal.
Mrs. Matilda Lewis