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:
- "because it still remains the fastest medium of communication" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Roseline Thompson" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 23 Dec 2018 07:22:15 -0000
Subject: Good day to you my dear
I am happy to know you, but God knows you better and he knows why he has directed me to you at this point, so do not be afraid. Your profile gave me confidence, you look humble and God fearing. I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart, this massage mighty come to you as surprise but i chose to reach you through email because it still remains the fastest medium of communication through this medium internet has been greatly abused. Please give me this little chance to explain myself to you, I would have like to meet you face to face before departing from this mother earth but due to the illness continue to deprive the chance but even if I die on the process of this operation I will still praise almighty.
My name is Mrs. Roseline Thompson i am from United States Of America, but i lived in London for many years, i am a dying woman and i decided to donate what I have to you for charity work/assistance to less privileged people in the society. I am 96 years old and I was diagnosed of cancer for about 1 year ago, immediately after the death of my husband, who has left me everything he worked for and my doctor told me that i would not last for the period of one months due to cancer problem because of my health, I am married to Mr Gerald Thompson ,who died as the result of a brief illness before my husband dead he informed me that he deposited the sum of $25 million USD in a BANK in United States Of America.Before his death as the result of a brief illness, I want you to help me to use this money for a charity project before I die, for the poor Less-privilege and orphanages in your country.
I accept this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money after I die. I want your urgent reply to start the good work of God, for immediate transfer of the money to your account in your country, To be very honest with you, this money i have opened-up to you is totally genuine and 100% risk-free. I am absolutely assuring you that no trouble or problem is involved in this fund either in the short-run or in the long-run because is my late husband money.
I want you to take 35 % percent of the total money for your personal use, 5 % percent for expenses and while 60% of the money will go to charity home. I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust in this matter to accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything that will jeopardize my last wish.
I honesty pray that this money when transferred to your account will be used for the said purpose as it is the wish of a dying woman and should be honored
I WAIT PATIENTLY TO READING YOUR REPLY.
EMAIL : (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THANKS AND REMAIN BLESSED.
MRS ROSELINE THOMPSON.