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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million 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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Victoria Toyo." <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 8 Sep 2017 19:07:54 -0400
Subject: Dear God's elect
I believe you will do better than I think,
It is understandable that you may be a bit apprehensive because you do not know me, I am writing this mail to you with serious tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, I decided to contact you due to the urgency of my situation. My Name is Mrs. Victoria Toyo, Am contacting you from my country USA. I want to tell you this because I don't have any other option than to tell you as I was touched to open up to you, I am married to Late Dr. Franklin Toyo who worked with USA Embassy in Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso for nine years before he died in the year 2005. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only five days. Since his death I decided not to remarry again, when my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$15 Million (Fifteen Million United States Dollars) with a bank in Ouagadougou,
Presently this money is still in the bank there. He made this money available for exportation of Gold from Burkina mining. Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of seven months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to hand you over this mission to take care of the less-privileged, you will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein. I want you to take 30 Percent of the total money for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to charity work" helping people in the street.
Because I grew up as an Orphan and I don't have anybody as my family member, just to Endeavour that the house of God is maintained. Am doing this so that God will forgive my sins and accept my soul because this sickness has suffered me so much. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the bank in Burkina Faso and I will also instruct my lawyer to issue you an authority letter that will prove you the present beneficiary of the money in the bank that's if you assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein. please, kindly reply me back through my private email address for more explanations. ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mrs. Victoria Toyo.