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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Marsha Stewart" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 May 2012 13:21:11 -0300
Please let this not sound strange to you .I have to contact you, believing that you will handle this in truth and in faithfulness.
I am Mrs. Marsha Stewart, citizen of America, age 65 years old, suffering from a long time cancer of the breast which is also affecting my lungs. As it were my condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious according to my doctor's reports, I may not live for the next one month.
I was raised in orphanage, was married to my late husband for twenty three years without a child. I have sold all my inherited belongings and still have some money in one of the banks in Europe, where am domiciled in presently.
This money is still with them and I would like to issue a letter of authorization to you to receive this deposit on my behalf in order for you to support your organization.
It is my last wish to see that this money is distributed to any charity organization of your choice especially the orphanages and old people's home.
I took this decision as my last wish before I depart from this world. As soon as I receive your reply, I shall give you details on how you can receive this money.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Mrs. Marsha Stewart