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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. IRENE DEDE" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Mar 2012 11:45:39 -0500
Subject: Greetings in name of our Lord
FROM: Mrs. IRENE DEDE.
Greetings in name of our Lord. I am the above named person but now undergoing medical treatment. I was married to Dr.Mitchell Dede who worked with an oil firm in Nigeria for nine years, before he died in the year 2009. We were both married for eleven years without children.
He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we were both very close as husband and wife and since his death I decided not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of USD15, 000,000.00 (Fifteen Million United States Dollars) with Union Bank Nigeria Plc, I will send you details as soon as you indicate your interest.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Six months due to my cancer illness. Having known my condition and believing the doctor I have decided to donate this fund to avoid total loss to less privilege, or better still an individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in.
I want interested firm, or individual that will receive and use this money to help, orphanages, widows, building churches and propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained.
Please do not fail to spread the funds across the globe as soon as you receive the money. it is more blessed to give than to receive. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are fighting over the properties and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by their greedy attitude. I don't 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 since I am a good person.
I shall hold my peace. I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't 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 information of the bank and other details that will enable you claim the funds. Please I want you to be aware that according to my attorney there are some important documents that will be required by the bank for the transfer this is where I will need your little assistance before the fund can be transfer with the help of my attorney.
I will also issue you a letter of authority/Power of Attorney that will make you the beneficiary of this fund. I want you to always pray for me because the lord is my shepherd. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the GOD must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
I sent you this mail under severe pains. Any delay in your reply will be detrimental. Please assure me that you will act accordingly.
Hoping to hear from you immediately you receive this mail via this my email address
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. IRENE DEDE.