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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Theresa" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 07:19:50 +0800
Subject: Greetings My Dearest
Mrs Theresa Stephen
Lot 104, Jacques Avenue,
01 B.P. 3691 Co Cody,
Abidjan -Ivory Coast
Greetings My Dearest,
Greetings to you and to all the members of your family, Dear i have selected
your name among other names due to its Esteeming nature and the
recommendations given to me as a reputable and trust worthy person that i can
do business with and By the recommendation, I must not hesitate to confide in
you for this simple and sincere business. I am Mrs Theresa Stephen from
Australia, A widow to late Stephen Joseph of Ivory Coast, Am suffering from
long time cancer of the breast.
My late Husband was a Finance Director in the Ministry of works and housing
before his retirement from service, after his retirement we went into; Real
Estate Business and also Government building contract. We were married for
years without a child due to my fibroid problem. I hardly move around due to
the illness, Recently my Doctor told me that I may not last for the next 15
weeks because the cancer has gotten to a very bad stage. So i want to quickly
do this incase if anything hapean to me,
When my husband was alive he made a deposit of ($3.500.000.00usd) Three
million five hundred United States Dollars, hoping to use the money to expand
our business by buying some construction Machines and equipment before he met
his death. Knowing my condition i have decided to donate this money out for a
charity purposes. Dear i want to transfer this money to you, I want you to use
at least 70% of this money to help the orphanage homes, poor, sick ones in the
hospital, widows, help women with cancer, help in the worship places, Then you
can take the remaining amount to take care of your home because every worker
deserve its wages.
I honestly pray that this money when transferred to your Country will be used
for the said purpose, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition
without God is vanity. Dear your religion does not matter to me all i need is
somebody that will use this money with the fear of God,
Please your urgent reply will be highly apreciated
>From Mrs Theresa Stephen