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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "waiting for your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "JODI SHOREMAN DENHAM" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Jan 2020 14:43:47 -0800
Subject: ETERNAL BLISS
My Dear Friend
May you live to enjoy the benefits of your labor in life.I am writing this mail to
you with serious tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, I decided
to contact you due to the urgency of my situation.
I lost my Wife 9 years ago and we were married for 19yrs years without a child.
She died after a brief illness that lasted for couple of weeks.
When my late Wife was alive we deposited the sum of Fourteen
million,($14,000,000) with one of the local banks in New York, because we
earlier had plans of having an orphanage home.
Meanwhile, recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last,
that i have couple of weeks to live due to lung cancer and
colorectal Cancer problem couple my hemorrhagic stroke.
Having known my condition I decided to chose you has my project
manager to take care of the less-privileged with the fund.
you will utilize this money the way I have instructed herein.
I want you to take 30% of the total money for your personal and
family use While 70% of the money will go to charity work" You
will build an orphanage home in my name. Because we both grew up as an
Orphan and I don't have anybody TRUSTWORTHY family member.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall link you
up with our Lawyer to assist you change the documents to your name
and facilitate the fund transfer to any account
of your choice in your country or abroad.
Please kindly Reconfirm the following information.
Your full name...............
Your address ................
Your mobile number...........
Date of Birth ................
So I can forward them to my bank for immediate change of account
information to yours, so that if i die anytime, the situation
will not be complicated.
I count on your goodwill and especially on the proper use of
Waiting for your urgent response.(imeldaGarcia4Christ@aol.com)
Jodi Shoreman Denham