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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: AJPCM <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Aug 2012 18:57:06 +0100 (BST)
Subject: PRAISE THE LORD
My beloved in Christ Jesus,
Endeavour to use the
Fund as i stated herein!!!
Due Respect and Humility, I was compelled to write you under
humanitarian ground. My name is Mrs., Veronica John, I am 68 years old,
>From Kuwait, I am married to late Mr. John Harmon who until his death
was The chairman/CEO of k: E global industries and a philanthropist
based in Cote d'I voire.
were married for 38 years without a child. And Recently, I was diagnose
of cancer problem (cancer of the liver).When my husband was alive; He
deposited the sum of $2.5 million with a financial firm here in Cote
d'Ivoire for safe keeping. Presently this money is still in the Vault of
the firm. Having known my condition I decided to donate this money to
any good spirited individual, charity organization, Christian or Muslim
that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein.
want that you use this money according to the desire of my late husband
to help the Less privileged, needles and the orphanages, building
churches, maintaining house of God,
building orphanages, schools and building care homes. I took this
decision because I have no offspring and seeing the sufferings of people
around decided to donate it, and I do not want in away where this money
will be used in an ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision
to hand you over this money. Though i don't know you nor met you before
but i believe that the Almighty will work through you in accomplishing
his will. I want you to always remember me in your daily prayers because
of my up coming Cancer Surgery.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I have Stated herein. Expecting to receive your re-assuring reply.
Remain blessed in the
Yours Sister In Christ,
Mrs. Veronica John.