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 united states 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)
- "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: From Jenny Kossa <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 22 Jun 2013 17:51:02 +0800 (SGT)
Subject: FROM MRS JENNY KOSSA
FROM MRS JENNY KOSSA
I AM MRS JENNY KOSSA. FROM GEORGIA USA BUT LIVED IN LOME, TOGO IN WEST AFRICA,I AM A WIDOW TO LATE MR. KOSSA MOSES. I AM 59 YEARS OLD. I AM NOW SUFFERING FROM LONG TIME CANCER OF THE BREAST.
FROM ALL INDICATIONS, MY CONDITIONS IS REALLY GETTING WORST AND IT IS QUITE OBVIOUS THAT I MAY NOT LIVE MORE LONG ACCORDING TO MY DOCTORS. THIS IS BECAUSE THE CANCER STAGE HAS GOTTEN TO A VERY BAD STAGE. MY LATE HUSBAND DIED LAST FIVE YEARS AND DURING THE PERIOD OF OUR MARRIAGE, WE COULD NOT PRODUCE ANY CHILD.
MY LATE HUSBAND WAS VERY WEALTHY AND AFTER HIS DEATH, I INHERITED ALL HIS BUSINESS AND WEALTH. THE DOCTORS HAVE ADVISED ME THAT I MAY NOT LIVE FOR MORE THAN FIVE MONTHS. SO I NOW DECIDED TO DEVIDE THE PART OF THIS WEALTH TO CONTRIBUTE TO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE CHURCH IN AMERICA, ASIA,AND EUROPE. I SELECTED YOU AFTER VISITING THE WEBSITE AND I PRAYED OVER IT. I AM WILLING TO DONATE THE SUM OF US$3,000.000.00( THREE MILLION UNITED STATES DOLLARS) TO THE LESS PRIVILEGED. PLEASE, I WANT YOU TO NOTE THAT THE MONEY IS DEPOSITED IN TOGO WHERE MY LATE HUSBAND HAD SOME OF HIS BUSINESS INVESTMENTS MOSTLY ON COCOA BECAUSE TOGO IS ONE THE AFRICA GREATEST PRODUCER OF COCOA.
THE MONEY IS IN ONE OF MY HUSBAND`S SUSPENDED ACCOUNT AND I WILL ORDER THE BANK TO TRANSFER THE MONEY TO YOU SO THAT YOU CAN USE IT TO HELP AS MANY AS NEED OUR HELP IN YOUR AREA, I HAVE GIVING MOST OF MY WEALTH TO PEOPLE AROUND THE WORLD INCLUDING AMERICA AND ASIA AND THIS THREE MILLION DOLLARS I WANT YOU TO USE IT TO REACH POOR CHILDREN IN THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES THERE SO PLEASE ACCEPT THIS OFFER AND USE THIS MONEY TO HELP POOR PEOPLE AND CHURCHES AND WIDOWS THERE OK.
MRS JENNY KOSSA