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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "remain blessed" (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: Rev Mother Rita Muellehat <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Oct 2014 13:59:33 +0100
Subject: From Rev Mother Rita Muellehat,
>From Rev Mother Rita Muellehat,
Holy Cross Specialist Hospital
Attn: Dear Heavenly Friend, For Your Goodwill and May the peace of the
Lord always are with you. I sincerely apologize for sending you this
goodwill message via e-mail instead of a Certified mail/Post-mail.
This was due to the urgency attached. I humbly crave your indulgence
to read with all glory to the most high God.. May the peace of the
Lord always be with you?
My name is Rev Mother Rita Muellehat, 82 years old now. I am diagnosed
with laryngeal cancer which has put me on sick bed for more than 5
years. It has palpitated to an extreme degree. Now I believe that my
time has come to join my ancestors in heaven.
I have $8,500,000.00.deposited in a safe location (bank) which I want
you to claim on my behalf for important charitable project which l
know you have desire for people in need.. I want to WILL and give this
resources to you as my last offering to humanity which I would want
you to use on a charity home, orphanage or a foundation in my memory
with the sole aim of assisting and helping the sick, the poor and the
needy irrespective of creed, color of the skin or race to the glory of
the most high God, which in turn with continuous great provisions of
the Holy Spirit would grow bigger and from strength to strength.
Amen.You will collect this offering from its safe location. I hope you
will honestly do this for me.
Finally, I will like to know what you do for a living so that I can be
able to know if your work is going to allow you handle this glorious
mission that I am committing into your hand to the glory of the
Sovereign Lord. Respond with this divine ref: ShahSer82 so i know you
got this to the Glory of the Almighty Father. God bless you
abundantly, guide and protect you to the length of days. With
affectionate Love in the Lord. Thank You and Remain blessed.
My best regards
Rev Mother Rita Muellehat