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)
- "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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Kaya Fontane <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 May 2019 08:05:23 -0700
Subject: Dear good friend,
Dear good friend,
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. Calvary Greetings in
the name of the LORD Almighty and Our LORD JESUS CHRIST the giver of every
good thing. Good day and compliments of the seasons, i know this letter
will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take
the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go off a
long way to determine my future and continued existence. I am Mrs. Kaya
Fontane aging widow of 68 years old suffering from long time illness. I
have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of (24.6Million
Dollars) and I needed a very honest and God fearing who can withdraw this
money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO GIVE THIS FUNDS TO
YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS. I found your email address from the internet after
honest prayers to the LORD to bring me a helper and i decided to contact
you if you may be willing and interested to handle these trust funds in
good faith before anything happens to me. This money is still with them and
the management just wrote me as the true owner to come forward to receive
the money for keeping it so long or rather issue a letter of authorization
to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come over because of
my illness or they get it confiscated. Presently, I'm with my laptop in a
hospital here in where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the
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 me so that I will give
you the deposit receipt which the COMPANY issued to me as next of kin for
immediate transfer of the money to your account in your country, to start
the good work of God, I want you to use the 40/percent of the total amount
to help yourself in doing the project. I am desperately in keen need of
assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you for this task, you
must not fail me and the millions of the poor people in our todays WORLD.
This is no stolen money and there are no dangers involved,100% RISK FREE
with full legal proof. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the
Charity works kindly let me know immediately.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 want you to take
40 percent of the total money for your personal use while 60% of the money
will go to charity.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. Please kindly respond for further details.
Thanks and God bless you,
Mrs Kaya Fontane.