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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Laura Langford" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2017 22:26:59 +0100
Subject: Bless You And Your Family
- This mail is in HTML. Some elements may be ommited in plain text. -
May The Lord Bless You
I am Mrs.Laura Langford, age 85 years old,i am the wife of late Mr. Ronald Langford,which i got your contact from my late husband diary,we are
both from United State Of America, my husband worked with the Oil and Gas Company Chevron/Texaco in Africa for twenty years before he died after a brief illness that lasted only four days,We were married for Forty-five years without a child.
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US $4.5million dollars.with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in the Africa Nigeria, Presently this money is still with the Bank, the management just send me an email to come over for the release of this money to me or rather issue! somebody to receive it on my behalf.
I'm in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the breast and Pneumonia. I have since lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live. It is my last wish to help people with this money as I and my late husband cannot wait to enjoy it.I need your help receiving this money and carry out my wishes, I need your information requested below so i can send it to the bank to let them know I have gotten you to receive my fund.
Bless you as i hope to read from you soon
Yours in Christ
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