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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Silvie Michel <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Silvie Michel <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 13:22:41 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Dear in Christ
Dear in Christ,
May our almighty God be with you, I am Mrs. Silvie Michel from Abidjan the country of Ivory Coast. I am married to Late Mr. Joseph Michel of blessed memory who was a well known cocoa dealer in Abidjan for through out his life before he died in the year 2012. We where married for 13 years without a child
Before his sudden death we where devoted born again christians. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum ofÂ (Two Million Five Hundred Thousand dollars ($ 2.500.000.00 us dollars) in a leading bank here in my country. As a result of high rate of conflate with political crises going in my country as of then,
Presently this money is still with the bank in my country and I am very sick of cancer fibroid and tumour, recently my doctor revile that I may not last till the next four months according to my doctorâs report, base on this fact i made up my mind to release my inherited fund for donation purpose, I want to donate this fund to entire christians organization or orphanages homes, after my prayers asking God to provide a honest someone i found your email contacts.Â
I want this money to be sheared to the less privileged since I do not have a child to inherit it and my late husband relatives are Non-believers and I don't want my husbands heard earn money to be used by unbelievers or in ungodly ways.
Hence the reason for taking this bold decision. I know that after death I will be with God the most holy and the most merciful. I will like you to handle this transfer very confidential and i will you to get back to me and tell me your mind when i see your zealousness to manage this divine project, then i will fully details you what I choose you for and as well give you a little knowledge on how to achieve it.
Any delay in your respond will give me room to seek for another person or an organisation for this same purpose.
Until I hear from you my dreams lay sequent on your shoulders
I am waiting to read from you soon.
Youâre Sister in Christ
Mrs. Silvie Michel.