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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: MARY JET <email@example.com> (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 30 Jun 2012 22:23:06 -0300
Dear Chosen Person,
I am Mrs. Mary Jet from United Kingdom (London), I am 69yrs born in
Malaysia Kelantan and was offered to a Charity Home in London when I
was 12years old. I have been suffering from a long time cancer of the
breast, from all indication my conditions is really deteriorating and
it is quite obvious that I can't work or do any stressful thing.
According to my doctors they have advised me that I may not live for
the next two months (Under Probability), this is because the cancer
stage has gotten to a very bad stage. I was brought up from a
motherless babies home was married to my late husband for twenty years
without a child. My husband Mr. Paul died in motor accident but I
decided not to marry because both of us are true Christians, rather I
sold all my inherited proprieties and deposited all the sum of
$2MUSD with a Financial security Company in Malaysia.
The management of Malaysia Financial Securities wrote me as the
true owner to come forward to receive the money for keeping it so long
will attract a demur rage fees as the security fees paid by my husband
has expired or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to
receive it on my behalf since I can not come over because of my
illness or they get it confiscated.
So instead of getting it confiscated I rather have someone whom I can
trust to receive the funds and utilize it according to my Wishes. And
the best part of it is, the security company told me in the letter
that they can have the funds released to my approved person that was
authorized by me or transferred to his bank account and if outside
Malaysia, then transferred to his or her bank account.
Presently, I am using my laptop in the hospital in United Kingdom
(London) where I have been undergoing treatment for my sickness.
It is my last wish to see at least 80% of this money invested/donated
to charity organization, The motherless, the most bereaved and the
homeless. While you keep 20% for your personal run around.
All I seek for is a God fearing person like you ,who will carry out my
last wishes and before I emailed you today I prayed my spirit gave me
the confidence to send you this email. I took this decision, before I
rest in peace because my time will soon be up. Please send me the
1. Full Name : .......................................
2. Address : ..........................................
3. Age : ..............................................
4. Occupation : .........................................
5. Telephone No: ....................................
Waiting for your reply.
Mrs Mary Jet
This message was sent using IMP, the Internet Messaging Program.