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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million us 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 Nicole Apollonia <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 21 Oct 2019 08:30:44 +0000
Subject: I NEED YOUR URGENT RESPOND AND TRUST,
My name is Mrs. Nicole Apollonia, from Toulouse France. I have been
suffering from ovarian cancer disease and the doctor says that I have
just a short time to live. For the past Twelve years, I have being
dealing on gold exportation, before falling ill due to the Cancer.
My late husband, Dr. Benoit kabore,a retired diplomat and one time
minister of mines and Power in the republic of Burkina Faso made a lot
of money from the sales of Gold and cotton while he was a minister,
but we had no child of our own.my later husband realized through a
powerful man of God that it was evil course instituted by his brother
in other to inherit his wealth, but before then it was too late, I and
my husband agreed that he should remarry another wife but our religion
did not permit it, while planning this my husbandâs brother heard it
and they planned and killed my husband at the age of 56, he died in
the month of September 2007
Now that I am very sick and according to the doctor,i will not survive
the sickness.The worst of it all is that I do not have any family
members or children to inherit my wealth.I am writing this letter now
through the help of the computer beside my sick bed.I have $4.5
Million US Dollars deposited in Eco-Bank here in Burkina Faso and I am
willing to instruct my bank to transfer the fund to you as my foreign
Trustee.You will apply to the bank, that they should release the fund
to you, but you will assure me that you will take 50% of the fund and
give 50% to the orphanages home in your country for my soul to rest
after i have gone.In my next email, I will send you the copy of the
Certificate of Deposit which will enable you apply to the bank and
receive the money with no case.Respond to me immediately for further
details and instructions since I am in the end times of my life due to
the ovarian cancer disease.
Hoping to receive your response as soon as possible.
Mrs. Nicole Apollonia,