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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: bankers trust <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 5 Jul 2016 17:09:25 -0700
Subject: Good Day
My Dear Friend,
Let me first of all inform you, I got your email address from a mail
Directory and decided to mail you for a permission to go ahead. I am
Mrs. Esther Gates from United Kingdom, married to Dr. Harry R. Gates
who worked with Texaco Oil Company in Malaysia before he died in a
ghastly motor accident on his way to a Board meeting. My Husband and
me were married but without any children. Since his death I decided
not to re-marry and presently I am 69 Years old. When my late husband
was Alive he deposited the sum of $12.5M. (twelve Million Five Hundred
Thousand U.S. Dollars) with a Bank.
Presently this money is still with the Bank and the management just
Wrote me as the beneficiary to come forward to receive the money or
rather Issue a letter of authority to somebody to receive it on my
behalf. I am presently in a hospital where I have been undergoing
treatment for Cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to
talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live
so I think the best thing to do is to use the money for charity
purposes. I want a person who is trustworthy that I will make the
beneficiary of my late Husband's Fund deposited with the bank so that
the person can get the money and utilize 70% of this money to fund
churches,orphanages and widows around the world.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact details
of the Bank. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will
prove you as the new beneficiary of this fund.Please assure me that
you will act accordingly as I stated here in and Keep this contact
confidential till such a time this funds get to your Custody. This is
to ensure that nothing jeopardizes my last wish on Earth.
I await your urgent reply.
Mrs. Esther Gates