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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mary Klein<email@example.com>"
Date: Tue, 24 Feb 2015 23:34:05 +0000
Subject: From Mrs.Mary Klein,
From Mrs.Mary Klein,
May this letter find you in good faith and may you receive this letter
peace of mind and with due respect as it may be very strange to you as
have not communicated or know each other before. My present condition
very desperate and that is why I decided to contact you through this
to come to my aid.
My name is Mrs.Mary Klein, but I am married to late Mr.Hans Klein the
Hubia Royal Construction company Ltd We were married for twenty years
had only one Son called Kone. My husband died after a brief illness
lasted for four years. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get
child outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he
deposited this $8.6 Million Dollars in a bank for foreign investment.
Presently this money is still in the bank.
I am undergoing a medical treatment ,I have cancer and stroke, recently
doctor told me that I have only five months to live after medical
on my left breast. Having known my condition I decided to contact you
that you will help invest the money in your country on behalf of my Son
Kone. You will take care of Kone and will help him continue with his
education once he arrives your country to meet you.
What pains me so much is that my late husband relatives seized the
Oil and Construction company immediately after the death of my husband
nothing was left for me and my Son. I am here with my laptop computer
don't need any telephone communication in this regard due to the
of my late husband relatives around me. I don't want them to know about
As soon as I receive your reply , I shall give you more information on
you should do so that the bank will transfer the money to your bank
Hoping to receive your reply.