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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Tasha Ryan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2012 04:32:59 +0100 (BST)
Subject: Dear Belove in the almighty God,
Dear Belove in the almighty God,
I am Mrs Tasha Ryan From Republic of Kuwait But i married to late Mr.Fabien Ryan in Cote Divoirie West Africa after our marriage for quite 11 years we couldnt produce any child.and my late husband was an international business man , may his soul rest in peace. Before his death two years ago
i have been suffering from cancer of breast,which have took me so much money and nothing was done to cure it after all the treatment i have been taking,to my greatest surprise some days ago my doctor told me that i may not live more than two months as the result of the sickness. We deposit the amount of $4.5million US dollars in one of the International Bank here in Cote Divoirie West Africa for our business before my late husband died,
and now i decide to use it for the help of the lesprivilegdeslikepoorwidows,ophans,disables and build churches.as result of my short stay on earth,since we couldnt produce any child to enherit the money as next of kin and our properties.Now i was touched in spirit to donate the money to you for the good work of God. Please this is my email address for more information: ( email@example.com ).
Am looking forward to your prompt reply.
Mrs Tasha Ryan.