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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Jennifer Mbaya " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 11 Aug 18 06:07:45 GMT
Subject: Hello My Dear
Hello My Dear
Calvary Greetings in the name of the ALMIGHTY
I am Mrs. Jennifer Mbaya from Japan I married to Late Mr. Joseph Mbaya who is a wealthy business man here in Benin Republic we were married for many years without a child before he died after a brief illness
Before his sudden death we where devoted christian When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars ($7,500,000.00) in one of the prime bank here in Benin Republic Presently this money is still with the Bank,
I am very sick from Kidney cancer that i may not last till the next two months according to my doctor so now i decided to donate this money to a honest individual who will use it to work for Almighty, orphans, widow and maintenance of church to fulfill the vow i and my late husband made to Almighty, and i have chosen you after praying.
I want this money to be use as i have said since i do not have any child to inherit it and our relatives are all unbelievers and i don't want our hard earn money to be used in ungodly way so you will take 40% of the fund for your effort and use the remaining as i stated, as soon as i read from you i will give you more details on how to achieve it, I need your urgent reply as i don't know what tomorrow will result, i wish you the best in life. Please Always remember me in your prayers.
I am waiting for your reply through my private email address. for more details
Mrs. Jennifer Mbaya