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:
- "god fearing " (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: Cole Janet <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Cole Janet <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 4 Jun 2016 23:33:52 +0900 (JST)
Subject: Urgent Help Pls.
I am Mrs. Janet Cole a widow suffering from long time illness (Cancer) I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband Mr. Dav Cole the sum of USD$7.8 Million which he deposited in a Finance Firm here and I need a very honest and God fearing person or cooperateÂ organization that can use these funds for God's work by uplifting orphans and less privileged ones.
I took this decision because I do not have any child that will inherit this money. I don't want a situation whereby this money will be used in an unGodly way. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. Please if you would be able to use this fund for Godâs work kindly reply me ASAP.
Your sister in Christ,
Mrs Janet Cole