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:
- "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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: MRS RITA DANIEL <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: MRS RITA DANIEL <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Jan 2015 22:13:31 +0900 (JST)
Subject: THE WORK OF GOD
greetings to you in the name of our LORD Jesus Christ. I am Mrs. Rita
Daniel from Kuwait. I was married to Mr.John Daniel. Who worked with
Kuwait embassy in Cote d'Ivoire 19 years withoutÂ a child and my husband
died in 2008. I am contacting you to let you know my desire to donate
the sum of $2.5 million dollars, in a bank here in Abidjan Cote d?
Ivoire. Presently, this money is still in the bank to charities in your
country which I inherited from my late husband. Due to my illness
(cancer) I have been confirmed to leave for just eight months by
doctors, so it is my desire to see that this money is invested to
any organization of your choice and distributed each year among the
charity organizations motherless babies home, schools and support for
the men and women homeless or what
you may consider to be the benefit of those less fortunate. I do not
want this fund to be invested in an ungodly manner. Once I receive your
reply confirming your acceptance of the work, I will give all relevant
information to authorize the release and transfer the money to you as my
My happiness is that I lived a
life of a worthy Christian. Whosoever that wants to serve the Lord must
serve him in spirit and Truth.
I want you to send the following items to me for the procession of the affidavit:
(1) Your full name............................
(2) Your address......................
(3) Your Nationality.................
(4) Your Age / Sex......................
(5) Your Occupation.....................
(6) Your marital status.................
(7) Your direct telephone number...........
I need these informationâsÂ very urgent. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing
another person for this same purpose.
I am hoping to receive your urgent reply.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Yours in Christ
Mrs. Rita Daniel