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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Simon Gibbs" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Oct 2014 22:36:22 +0900
This message may come to you as a surprised,i have not intention of
causing you harm. let me tell you more about my self My name is Simon
Gibbs a retired business man, I retired due to health reason. I was a
man who was involved in oil and gas and contracts, I retired after I was
diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis That was discovered very
late due to my laxity in caring for my health.
It has defiled all form of medicine and right now, I have only about a few
Months to live according to medical experts. I lost my only son on the 1st
of 2009 in the air France crash flight Af 447 from Rio de Janeiro
Brazil. After this entire calamity and my terminal disease I began to view
the world From another perspective my son was gay and he died in that
crash with his Partner
I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared For
anyone not even myself but my business. Though I am very rich, I was never
generous, I was always hostile to people and only focus on my business As
That was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this because
there is more to life than making all the money in the world. I believe if
I have a second chance to come to this world I would live
my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that I know my time
is near. I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my
immediate and extended family Members and as well as a few close friends
I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be
one of the Last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money
to some Charity organizations. Now that my health has deteriorated so
Badly, I cannot do this myself any more. I once asked members of my family
to close one of my accounts and donate the money, which I have there to
charity Organization in Bulgaria, they refused and kept the money to
themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be
contended with what I have left for them. The last of my money which is
huge cash that I deposit in a bank, if you have the time and mean you can
start One such charity organization with this fund if you cannot just
distribute to Charity or for research. This is a sum of EUR8, 000.000.00
(Eight million Euros)
I am writing this from my laptop computer in my hospital bed in where I
wait for my time to come. If you are interested to help me I will give you
more information about it. Note that you will take 20% out of the funds
and use 80% for charity
I pray that God uses you to support and assist me with
good heart God be with You.