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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- "courier company" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: "Rev Herbert Reesink" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 18 Feb 2019 15:23:40 +0100
Subject: Greetings to you in the name of our lord,
Greetings to you in the name of our lord,
I am Rev Herbert Reesink a Priest in Vatican city, i want you to do a work
for me for this is my last wish. I have made out an ATM Master Card on your
name worth of $5.1Million, i want you to distribute part of it to the less
privileged people across the globe for i have made a mistake that will
cost me my life as a matter of fact.
The Pope has sent me on humanitarian trip to Africa several times, on
certain occasion, i met a group of diamond business men who asked me to
use part of the humanitarian money to execute diamond business with them and
that i can return the money to the church funds after the conclusion, i
executed the transaction with them and at the end of several
transaction, i retain this sum of $5.1Million, they helped me and open
an account there
in Africa where i lodged the funds.
Now they have started hunting me and blackmailing that if i don't give
them this money that they will implicate me to the Vatican that i run a
personal account and that i am using the church funds made for humanitarian jobs
to run personal business, they persuaded me to help now they have taken an
advantage of me, If i try to pay them any ransom they will end up asking
me to provide church funds which they know that i have access to, i will
not live to face this shame so please, do what i said with part of this
money and use part to take care of your family/business.
I know that i will not live to bear this shame but as for them, they
remain cursed. I can never allow them touch that money that's why i have made
out ATM Card. on your name and have also written letter of authority
enabling you to use the funds without problem and to protect you from the law.
I have handed the Atm Master Card, and letter of authority to the
Director of Air & Sea Courier Service, Rev Fr, Pj sexton, contact him with
your address and pick it up, don't ever reveal what happened to me or this
Rev. Sister Mary J Avon.
Rev Fr, Pj sexton
Do not tell the Courier company what happened to me because if they hear
this story, they will try to sit on the money. May the Lord be with you
you do this job.
Rev Herbert Reesink