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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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: Akpa Sonia <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Akpa Sonia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 31 May 2016 20:14:48 +0900 (JST)
Subject: My Beloved Friend In The Lord.
My Beloved Friend In The Lord.
Greetings, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am Miss Akpa Sonia,writing on behalf of Mrs Elizabeth A. Johnson from Bahrain,
a widow to late Dr. A. Johnson. She is 51 years old and a coveted born again
Christian, suffering from long time cancer of the breast, from all indication
her condition is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that she might
not live more than two (2) months, according to her doctor because the cancer
has gotten to a very worst / dangerous stage.
Her late husband and her only child died last five years ago, his death was
politically motivated. Her late husband was a very rich and wealthy business
man who was running his Gold/Diamond Business here in West Coast Africa. After
his death, she inherited all his business and wealth. And her doctor has advised
her that she may not live for more than two (2) months, so she now decided to
divide the part of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the church
in Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. I collected your email address during my
desperate search on the internet and I prayed over it.
She decided to donate the sum of $5,600,000.00 USD (Five Million Six
hundred thousand United States dollars) to the less privileged because she
cannot take this money to the grave. Please I want you to note that this fund
is lodged in a bank here in West Coast Africa.
Once I hear from you, I will forward to you all the information's you will use
to get this fund released from the bank and to be transferred to your bank
account. I honestly pray that this money when transferred to you will be used
for the said purpose because l has come to find out that wealth acquisition
without Christ is vanity. May the grace of our lord Jesus the love of God and
the fellowship of God are with you and your family.
Thanks and God bless you.
Your beloved sister in Christ.
Mrs. Elizabeth Anna Johnson.