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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mary Freeman <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 01:25:27 +0100
Subject: Dear beloved one in Christ
Dear beloved one in Christ,
I know that this letter may be a very big surprise to you, I came across your email contact from my personal search and I instructed the doctor here in these hospital to help me email you and I believe that you will be honest to fulfill my final wish before I will die.
I am Mrs Debbie Freeman from Utah United State of America Utah, I am 59 years old, an Ebola Virus Patient.From all indication my condition is really deteriorating, and my doctors have courageously advised me that I may not live beyond the next two weeks, this is because the Ebola Virus stage has reached a critical stage. I was brought up in a motherless babies home, and was married to my late husband Johnson Freeman for twenty years without a child.
My late husband and I are true Christian's,we lived all day in, Sierra Leone, since he was working here as a contractor, but quite unfortunately,he died in a fatal motor accident.Since his death I decided not to re-marry and my late husband deposited all the total sum of $25.8million dollars with the Federal Reserve bank of New York in United States New York.
Presently, this money is still in the BANK, and the management of the Federal bank of New York Bank just wrote me as the Legitimate beneficiary to come forward to receive the money after keeping it for so long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over as a result of my illness, or they get it confiscated.Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment.I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live.
It is my last wish to see that these my hard earn money is invested in any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the charities organization, the poor and the motherless baby's home where I come from.I want your good humanitarian,to also use these money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around your environmentalists.
I must let you know that these was a very hard decision, but I had to take a bold step towards these issue because I have no further option, I hope you will help see my last wishes come true.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Bank in United States New York. I will also issue a letter of authority to the bank, which will prove that you are the new beneficiary of my funds.Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein.Hope to hear from you soonest.
I await your response
Yours sincerely sister in Christ,