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:
- 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 us 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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: williams susan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Dec 2013 08:04:39 +0000
Subject: Hello dear,
It's my pleasure to contact you for a business venture which I intend to establish in your country. Though I have not met with you before, but I believe one has to risk, confiding in someone to succeed sometimes in life.
I am Mrs. Susan Williams, the widow to late Dr.Gerry Williams, who was a phillipines ambassador in the Republic of Cote D'Ivoire in West Africa for 11 years and also an anti-mining advocate and a veterinarian assassinated in Philippines recently by suspected gun men. His sudden demise has been a great shock to me and my children.
During my late husband's death traits, before he was eventually assassinated, he deposited a total sum of $7.5Million US dollars in a Finance and Security company abroad in Cote D'Ivoire for the up keeping and future of our family which I inherited from him before he was assasinated after his retirement. Now, for the sake of the future of the family he left behind in my care, I decided to invest these money in your country or any where safe enough outside my Country for security purposes. I want you to help me to transfer this fund into your country for investment purposes.
If you can be of an assistance to me I will be pleased to offer you 15% of the total fund. kindly reply me immediately for further details.
I await your soonest response.
Thank you and God bless you.
Mrs. Susan Williams