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.
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Linda Owen. <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 11 Jul 2012 07:22:01 +0400
Subject: Donation from Mrs linda
Dearest in Christ,
with due respect and humanity, I am contacting you under a humanitarian ground. I am Mrs Linda Owen; I was born in Baltimore , Maryland in America , and was married to Mr. John Owen, Director J.W Industries Cote d'Ivoire . We were married for 36 years with an only child who later died in a ghastly car accident. My husband died in 2006 after a Cardiac Arteries Operation. Recently, my Doctor told me that I have a precise time to live due to my stroke and cancer illness (cancer of the liver).
Before my husband died, there is this sum of Seven Million, Five Hundred Thousand Dollars (US$7.500.000) which he deposited with a Private security company here In Ivory Coast . Presently, this money is still in the custody of the Security Company.
I want someone who will use this fund according to the desire of my late husband, that is; to help the less privileged, orphans, widows, victims of war, terrorist attacks, natural disaster and most of its all, propagating the word of God. Though I have a precise time to live, I am not afraid of death hence I know my reward before our Almighty. Please always remember me in your daily prayers for my up coming cancer surgery.
Looking forward to hear from you soon.
God bless you.
Mrs Linda Owen.