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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS ROSALINE BADMUS" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2012 05:24:45 -0800
Subject: Mrs. Rosaline Badmus
Good Day, Pls let this not sound strange to you for my only surviving
lawyer who would have done this died early this year.i prayed and got your
email id from your countrys chambers of commerce which i have been with my
late husband and
liked to visit once more if God hears me from this illness.
I am Mrs. Rosaline Badmus,I am 61 years old,i am deaf and suffering from a
long time cancer of the lungs which also affected my brain,from all
indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious
that, according to my
doctors they have advised me that i may not live for the next two
months,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.
I was brought up from a motherless babies home, was married to my late
husband for twenty years without a child.My husband died in a fatal motor
accident.Before his death we were true Christians. Since his death I
to re-marry,I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the sum
of $18.5million dollars with a Bank.
Presently, this money is still with them and the management just wrote me
as the true owner to come forward to receive the money for keeping it so
long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it
on my behalf since I
can not come over because of my illness or they get it confisticated.
Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing
treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk
and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It is
my last wish
to see that this money is invested to any organisation of your choice and
distributed each year among the charity organization,the poor and the
motherless babies home where i come from.I want you God fearing, to also
use this money to
fund churches, orphanages and widows.
I took this decision, before i rest in peace because my time will soon be
up. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the
Bank.I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as
the new beneficiary of my fund.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly act as I stated herein.
Hoping to hear from you soon. Waiting for your reply.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Rosaline Badmus