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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Sylvia Jimmy <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 04:43:12 +0000
Subject: Re: please reply
Dearest I am Miss. Sylvia Jimmy, am 22
years old Medical student, in University of Sudan . I am the only child
of my father of a blessed memory by name Late Mr. Jimmy Lemi Milla was
the rural development minister in Sudan . You can read more about my
father death in the BBC news below website: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-12403620 I
am decided to contact you because of the maltreatment am receiving from
my step mother whom in partnership with my father only brother has
taken away all my fathers treasury and assets since the unexpected death
of my Father and also refused me access to everything and hid my
international passport and other valuable traveling documents, luckily
to me she couldn't discover about a secret deposit of $4.5m my late
father made with a bank when I traveled with him to Burkina-Faso on my
18th birthday and my name was used as next of kin and signed which is
the reason why I followed my father to Burkina-Faso. Due to the
maltreatment am receiving since the death of my father I managed to
escape to Ouagadougou Burkina-Faso through road, and am now seeking
hiding in a private charity organization under St Johns Catholic Church
here in Burkina-Faso. I am in search of an honest
and reliable person who will help to relocate me in any of the western
or any other place in the world, for a better life and to continue my
studies, I have chosen to contact you after getting your email through a
database, and I believe you are a reliable person who will not let me
down or betray my trust, I know you may wonder why I am telling you
about all this, even without seeing or knowing you fully well, really
something in me tells me that you are a good person and I guess I am not
wrong as I have no choice. Briefly, I will like
to disclose little more about myself to you and see if you can help me
to relocate to your country so as to continue with my studies and have a
new life, and please this is a little secret and I plead with you to
keep it to yourself alone until everything is properly arranged and
executed, then I will come over to join you in your country. I have the
sum of $4.5Million as an inheritance from my late father which I will
like to invest in your country with your help and am ready to give you
25% of the money as thanking gift for your assistance after you have
helped me to receive the money and relocate to your country. I want you
to understand that I will not be able to make this claim because of my
refugee status. I have to stop here till i hear from you.Yours Sincerely,Sylvia Jimmy