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.
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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 united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs. Evra <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 15:08:00 +0100 (CET)
Subject: Attn: Beneficiary
Your reply will put smiles in the life of the poor. My name is Mrs Madalyn S. Evra (MRS).I was married to Late Engr.Steve Evra. He used to work with Shell Petroleum Development Company London and was also a seasoned contractor in the West African Region.He died on 4th of October, 2005 in Manchester UK. We were married for seven years without a child. After his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home. I am suffering from cancer within four years after my husband died. Along with hearing impairment due to drug reactions. Recently, my doctor told me that my life will not exceed three months due to illness, of cancer. I have a deposit of Eleven Million United States Dollars (USD 11,000,000,00)n the Bank in London. And so, I sincerely want to donate the fund to the less privileged in your country or in any part of the globe. I really want to use it for humanitarian activities. I do not have a child who will inherit this money from me. And the rel
atives of my husband were bad to me since my illness, as a cancer patient. I do not want any bank to get to keep this money after my death. As soon as I receive your reply, I will tell my lawyer to help you with the transfer of the money to your bank, you'll use it to better mankind in your region (country). Please assure me that you will sincerely help me with this. I look forward to your reply soon.
Mrs Madaly S. Evra
Contact Email (firstname.lastname@example.org)