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 us 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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS RACHAEL STEWART" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 13:22:09 +0530
Subject: MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR
Mrs. Rachael Stewart.
23 Les Caches St.Martins,
I am the above named person but now undergoing medical
treatment in London England. I am married to Dr.Richard Stewart. who worked
with British Railway Commission in Chelsea England for over a decade before
he died on 5th of July in the year 2006.We were married for fifteen years
without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted
for two weeks.Before his death he made a vow to use his wealth for the down
trodden and the less privileged in the society.Since his death I decided
not to re-marry or get
a child outside my matrimonial home.When my late husband was alive he
deposited the sum of (Eighteen Million US Dollars) with one Finance
House.Presently this money is still with the Finance House.Recently my
Doctor told me that
I would not last for the next 150 days due to cancer problem.
Though what disturbs me most is my stroke.Having known my condition I
decided to donate this fund to an individual or better still a God fearing
person who will utilize this
money the way I am going to instruct here in. I want an individual that
will use this to fund and provide succor to poor and indigent persons
orphanages and widows and for
propagating peace in the universe.I understand that blessed is the hand
that give. I took this decision because I do not have any child that will
inherit this money and my husband relatives are not inclined to helping
persons and I do not want my husbands hard earned money to be misused or
spent in the manner in which my late husband did not specify.I do not want
a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner hence the
reason for taking this bold decision.I am not afraid of death hence know
where I am going.I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Almighty.
With God all things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall
give you the contact of the Finance House.I will also issue you a letter of
authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund.I
want you to always pray for me.
My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Am now born again
christian. please, Whosoever that wants to serve the Almighty must serve
him with all his heart and mind and always be prayerful all through your
life.Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for an
individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act
according to specification
herein. Hoping to hear from you.Thank you and May the Almighty God bless you.