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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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 british pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rick Burner" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 19 May 2013 13:32:36 -0000
Subject: My wish
I may be dead when you will be reading this message.My name is Rick Burner, i dont know who you are but i am writing this message for you from my hospital bed in London on a life support completely paralysed with ALS(Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis).The doctors have given up hope on my surviving so i have been asked to make my wish.My wish is that my money be used for charity when i die.I have left the sum of left the sum of Five million British pounds (£5,000,000) in my bank account in London.I have decidd to make my wish of willing the fund to you.I want you to use the money to fullfill my cause of taking care of the less priviledge and the homeless in the society at large.I might not be checking my next email so i have instructed my doctor ,Dr Phillip Brown to direct you to the bank where i left the money.
I lost my wife of 15 years to terminal bowel cancer earlier this year.Our only child Mathew had died in a motor accident in 2008. All my life has beeb marred with circumstances so i think the best way to end it up is giving to Charity.I am a good christian and i understand what the bible teaches about charity.So i have no regret in making out my will of giving this money to charity through you and i am confident you will not disappoint my hope.
Please contact Dr Phillip Brown on your receipt of this message and infom him about my intention of willing my monwy to you.I have handed every details about my bank to him and have notified him about my intention of willing the money to you.
You can see Dr Phillip Burner in the picture with me on my life support. his private email to reach him is (email@example.com)I think i must have fullfilled my wish and desire and i will have no regret if i die any moment from now.
Please take care and may God give you good wisdom and knowledge to fullfill my wish.
Take care and may God bless you.