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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Sarra Bongara" <email@example.com>
Reply-To: "Mrs. Sarra Bongara" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 7 Dec 2014 18:34:16 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Charity and Work of Allah
Â Dear God's elect,
I believe you will do better than I think,
It is understandable that you may be a bit apprehensive because you
do not know me, I am writing this mail to you with serious tears in my
eyes and great sorrow in my heart, My Name is Mrs Sarra Bongara, Am
contacting you from my country Tunisia . I want to tell you this because
I donât have any other option than to tell you as I was touched to open
up to you, I am married to Late Dr. Anthony Bongara who worked with
Tunisia embassy in Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso: in west
Africa for nine years before he died in the year 2005. We were married
for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that
lasted for only five days. Since his death I decided not to remarry
again, when my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of $7.2 USD
Million (Seven million two hundred thousand dollars) with a bank in
Presently this money still in the bank there. He made this money
available for exportation of Gold from Burkina mining. Recently, My
Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of seven months due
to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness.
Having known my condition I decided to hand you over this mission to
take care of the less-privileged, you will utilize this money the way I
am going to instruct herein. I want you to take 30 Percent of the total
money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to charity
work" helping people in the street.
Because I grew up as an Orphan and I don't have anybody as my family
member, just to endeavour that the house of God is maintained. Am doing
this so that God will forgive my sins and accept my soul because this
sickness has suffered me so much. As soon as I receive your reply I
shall give you the contact of the bank in Burkina Faso and I will also
instruct my lawyer to issue you an authority letter that will prove you
the present beneficiary of the money in the bank that's if you assure me
that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.
Hoping to hear from you soon.
Mrs Sarra Bongara.