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:
- 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:
- "dear beloved," (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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Rita Madine" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 2021 07:32:36 +0000 (UTC)
Hello my dear beloved,
I am Mrs. Rita k. Madine. From the republic of Ireland, born in the state of Ohio USA. I am legally married to Mr. Hilary Madine., a South African citizen born and brought up in Switzerland, I lived in Switzerland with my husband for 17 years before we moved down to South Africa in 1991 after my husband retired in 1990, I am 75 years old by the grace of God. I am a God fearing person, and I am suffering from long term (illness) cancer of the breast. This illness (sickness) has troubled me for a long time.
All indications from my doctor that my condition is really deteriorating and getting worse; and it is quite obvious that I wouldnât live more than three months, according to my doctor and in all indications regarding medical analysis. This is because the cancer disease has gotten to a very bad stage that no hope for me to be a living person again. My dear husband was involved with the January 2000 Kenya airways plane crash as you can see on the news line web site. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/6627485.stm)
40 years of marriage life, still we could not produce any child, my late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited some part of his business and money in the bank. The doctor has advised me that I may not live for more than three months and 2 weeks and warns me to stop thinking over who is going to inherit me and the wealth. Based on that, today I have decided to donate and contribute to the less privileged, charity homes, and orphanage homes and to those displaced by wars going on in the middle-east and around the world. I made this decision after listening to the news about a 100 years old woman who secretly donated her fortune and wealth upon her death,
I choose you after viewing your profile and I have confidence in you because I have prayed. I am willing to donate the sum of $20.5million US dollars, to the less privileged of which you will be responsible in taking care of the disbursement and sharing of this money to organizations that I will appoint. Meanwhile, you will also get 30% of the money which will be; six million and one hundred thousand dollars ($6,100,000) as your compensation for helping me fulfill this desire of donation.
Please I want you to note that this fund is still in the bank where my late husband deposited it. I am going to advise my lawyer to change my last will to your name and file an application for the transfer of the money in your name. Lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred to your account will be used for the said purpose even though I am late then or alive, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition is not always the final thing in life or death if you do not help people as well when they need it. Please bear it in mind that that all the money will rightfully belong to your name as quickly as I get your reply, and I made the promise to God that the fund will be used to help the needy and the less privilege, reply me through this email: firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ
May the grace of our Lord the love of God and the fellowship of God be with you and your family, please for further discussion contact me with my email address:
Reply me through this email: email@example.comÂ
I await an urgent reply.
Mrs. Rita k. Madine.