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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: ANGELA VINICIO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: ANGELA VINICIO <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 Sep 2012 20:55:39 +0100 (BST)
Subject: GREETINGS TO YOU
My Dearest in the name of Lord,
I am sending you this message with honest and have faith that you will not dissapoint me, I am Mrs. Angela Vinicio. I am married to late Mr. Dan Vinicio, who is an oil contractor for Fourteen years before he died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days.
We were married for Eighteen years with only one son which is now 13 years old Before the untimely death of my husband. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of (US$4,500,000 M)(FOUR MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLAR) in a BANK.
Recently,Following my ill health, Doctors have told me of my detoriating ill health due to my cancer problem as i am currently admited inside the hospital pending for my surgery Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a Christain organization (Church, Lessprivilages home) or a believer in Christ who will utilize this money the way I am going to instructs herein,according to the desire of my late husband before his death and also for you to use part of it to take care of my only lovely son.I will give you all the instruction and procedures as soon as you respond to this message.
I want this fund to be used in activities like, Orphanages, schools,and Churches/mosque for propagating the word of God and to endeavor that the house of God is maintained. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Christian.Whoever that Wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and truth.Please always be prayerful all through your life. In your next reply I will give the bank authorization letter on your name as the beneficiary,Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein .
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ
Mrs Angela Vinicio.