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:
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: Anina Lylund <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Anina Lylund <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 15:58:58 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Urgently For More Details
Â Hello Dear,
I am writing this mail with tears and sorrow seeking your assistance due to my medical situation here in London. I am Anina Lylund, citizen of Finland and 51 years old. I was an Orphan, adopted by my late father, Engr. Grain Lylund, Chairman/CEO of Gralyund Oil and Gas Services. After the death of my father, I took over his company management and also decided not to get married since I m his only Child. Since then, I started suffering from Coronary heart disease which has cost me a lot and also affected every part of my body and brain cells due to complications. Just 5 days ago, the British doctors told me that I may die any time because my condition has gotten to a critical and life threatening stage. Having known my medical critical status, I therefore decided to seek for your urgent assistance/ cooperation to use my inheritance $10.3 Million USD, to Build Orphanage homes in memory of me when am gone.
I took this bold decision because I do not have husband, family or children that can inherit these funds when am gone. If interested, you shall take 25% out of the total money for your assistance, and also use the balance to build Orphanage homes in memory of me.Â If interested, get back to me urgently for more details and to proceed.
Immediately I hearing from you, I shall issue you a POWER OF ATTORNEY, to establish you as my legal beneficiary in receiving the money on my behalf.
I am waiting to hearing from you urgently.