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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms. Anne Christine Kriechbaum" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 5 Mar 2020 09:48:33 +0100
Subject: I called. You did not answer
From Ms. Anne Christine Kriechbaum
Austria House Building,
European Quarters, Ikoyi
Greetings to you,
May the peace of God be with you and your family. I am Anne Christine
Kriechbaum, a widow from Salzburg Austria, I am 68 years old. I'm married
to Dr. Jakob Kriechbaum who worked with Austrian Embassy in Republic of
Nigeria for twenty five years before he died in the year 2014. We were
married for fourty years without a child, When my late husband was alive he
deposited the sum of USD5,200.000.00. (Five Million, Two Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars Only) in a bank in Republic of Nigeria. Presently
this money is still in bank.
Recently I was diagnosed with esophageal cancer, It has defiled all forms
of medical treatment my doctor told me that I would not last for the next
Six months due to troat cancer problem.,The one that disturbs me most is my
stroke sickness, Having known my condition I decided to WILL/Donate this
fund to you on charity purpose , I want you to utilize this money the way I
am going to instruct herein, I want you to use this money to fund
churches,LESS-PRIVILEGES ,orphanages, schools,disabled People, and widows
propagating the word Of God and to ensure that the house of God is
maintained. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that
giveth. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will
inherit this money.
Presently, I'm in an American hospital here in Republic of Nigeria, where I
have been taking treatment for this sickness. As soon as I receive your
reply and confirm your acceptance to work as I instruct herein., I shall
give you all the relevant information that will authorize the transfer of
the total sum of USD5,200.000.00 to you on charity's purposes.
30% of the fund is for you and your family, if you will accept to do this
humanitarian work. You will promised me that you will not disappoint me
when the fund will be transferred to your bank account there in your
country, and you will also assured me that you will use 70% of the money
for the said purpose.
Email me back immediately for further details.
Ms. Anne Christine Kriechbaum