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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 pounds" (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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2016 11:21:52 +0530
Subject: Dear Beloved
Please kindly accept my apology for sending you this email without your con=
sent.I believe you are a highly respected personality, considering the fact=
that I sourced your profile from the peoples search database on the web du=
ring my discreet search for a partner whom can assist me in taking bringing=
the dreams of my late husband come through. I am Mrs. Rebecca Garden, suff=
ering from cancerous ailment. I was married to Sir. Garden Kay. An English =
shipping tycoon notable for his great charitable activities before his deat=
h in April 2nd, 2014. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum o=
f Twenty Million Pounds Sterling (=A320,000,000.00 GBP) which were derived =
from his vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank here i=
n UK and named me as the beneficiary of this trust fund. (All records are k=
ept with my family lawyer). Presently, this money is still with the Bank. M=
y Doctor told me recently, that I have limited days to live due to the canc=
erous problems that I have been suffering from. Though what bothers me most=
is the stroke that I have in addition with the cancer With this hard reali=
ty that has befallen me, I have decided to donate this fund to you and I wa=
nt you to use this gift which comes from my Late husband=92s effort to esta=
blish a charity home for the up keep of Widows, Widowers, Orphans, Destitut=
e, the down-trodden, physically challenged children, barren-women and perso=
ns who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially. I took this decision =
because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband=
relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy persons and I do not want my husb=
and hard earned money to be misused or invested into ill perceived ventures=
, which is the reason I took this bold decision. I do not need any telephon=
e communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and because o=
f the presence of my husband relatives around me. You can contact me throug=
h my personal email address: firstname.lastname@example.org or rebeccagarden01@o=
utlook.com Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.=
Hope to hear from you soon. Remain Blessed, Mrs. Rebecca Garden