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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Theresa Sardi <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 25 Oct 2017 09:28:15 GMT
Subject: Dear child of God,
Dear child of God,
I am writing this mail to you praying that it reach's you in good health, for I myself is in a very critical health condition in which I go to bed every night not sure if I will be alive to see the next day. My name is Mrs. Theresa Sardi. from Syria but I am contacting you from a hospital bed. I want to tell you of my ordeal as I am left with no choice but to be open to you. I am married to the late Mr. Usman Sardi who until his death in October 2015 was a Syrian government contractor. We were married for thirteen years without any child until the morning he died. My husband has the sum of eleven million dollars with a bank in Ouagadougou, the capital city of Burkina Faso. As it is now, I am the only person who knows of the existence of this fund and presently, I am in a hospital bed here dying from this cancer which started after our neighborhood was attacked with a chemical atomic gas which left over three hundred people dead including my husband. The government is blaming the rebel fighters for the attack while the rebels are blaming the government fighters for the said attack. I am confuse and do not know who to believe. Now the doctor has made it clear that I no longer respond to medications, indicating that I have only but a short time to live. The cancer is not my main problem but the partial stroke which makes it hard for me to write my mails. Having considered my position, I have decided to use you to carry out my plan. I will guide you to receive the eleven million dollars and you will take 30% of it for yourself and your family while you will take the remaining 70% and build an orphanage home for the motherless children in your location or anywhere of your choice because I am an orphan and does not have any relative. This has been my wish before this sickness came between my plans. Please you must follow this directive or I will look for another person. I would have given this task to someone in this country but I have sworn with the death of my beloved husband that Syria will know no peace. However, if you are not capable of handling this task or do not have confidence in this message, quickly delete the message and forget about it, but if you have confidence in it and can handle the task then kindly indicate by responding. I will be waiting to hear from you.
Please kindly check out those links on your internet to confirm my claim of a chemical weapon use in the Syrian civil war.
Thanks and regards.
Mrs. Theresa Sardi.