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:
- "million 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 "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Banny Edith <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2012 10:40:36 -0700 (PDT)
Warm greetings to you.
I am Mrs. Edith Banny from Kuwait . I am married to Mr. Banny well known businessman in Kuwait before his death.
We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
During our business days I and my late husband deposited the sum of $3.2million dollars (Three million two hundred thousand dollars) with a bank in our overseas joint account. Presently, this money is still with the bank.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for the next Eight months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition and I cannot travel out again, I decided to donate this fund to an individual or organization that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want you to take 25% of the amount for your personal use and you distribute 75% to Charity homes, Orphanages, Widows, Disabled and Religious Organizations.
I took this decision because I grew up as an Orphan and I don't have any body as my family member, I don't have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives are after my life. This is why I am taking this decision so that God will forgive me all my past sins and receive me and my soul shall rest in perfect peace. I am not afraid of death hence I know that death is a necessary end which must come when it will come.
Please I want you to always pray for me.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank to enable you to contact them to affect the transfer of the fund.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein by replying my mail by providing the following information.
1: Your full name
2 Your permanent address
3: Your Phone Number.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this same purpose.
Hoping to receive your reply.
Mrs Edith Banny