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:
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Edina Moweh <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 14 Dec 2013 2:04:17 +0900
Subject: From Mrs. Edina Moweh
>From Mrs. Edina Moweh
Abidjan Ivory Coast
Mrs. Edina Moweh (Abidjan Ivory Coast)
I am Edina Moweh, from Abidjan Ivory Coast and widow of the late Daniel Moweh,
who was a group managing Director of Shell oil company an Ivory Coast based Oil
Company. He died after a Cardiac Arteries Operation.
I am currently undergoing treatment for ovarian cancer in a hospital here in my
country but recently, my doctor told me that my condition has worsened and
obviously cannot survive unless by special grace of God.
I and my husband married for 33 years without child. Before the death of my
husband, he had deposited the sum of Three million Eight hundred thousand
dollars (USD 3,800,000) in one of the private security company here, in with the
hope of establishing a trust funds. Today, money is still with the security
company here unclaimed.
For this I decided to donate the funds for humanitarian purposes through a God
fearing person or the organization that will use it to support orphanage homes,
homes for the elderly, widows and propagating the word of God.
I took this decision because we have no child who will inherit the money and my
husband had decided on establishing this project before his untimely death.
Therefore, please accept this proposal and help me achieve my heart desire to
receive the funds and carry out humanitarian projects as appointed
administrator. If you accept this offer, you will be entitled to 10% of the
total money as operating expenses or compensation, while the rest will be used
for humanitarian projects.
If you are interested in this noble transaction, please reply immediately.
Surely appreciate and thank you for your kindness in giving me this help.
I will detail you more immediately you reply this message.