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:
- "million united state 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)
- "million 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: charitykennedy003 charitykennedy003 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Jul 2019 16:38:46 -0700 (PDT)
Subject: Urgent from Charity J Kennedy
Dear beloved one,
let my letter not be a surprise to you. My name is Mrs. Charity j Kennedy . from Zimbabwe. I am a sick woman who has decided to donate what I have to charity work through you. You may be wondering why I chose you. But someone has to be chosen. I am 55 years old and was diagnosed for cancer about 2 years ago, my husband and two daughters were among the people that where raped and killed in the Jan. 13, 2011 post-election war here in Cote D'Ivoire. immediately after the death of my husband who had left me everything he worked for when he was working in our Embassy for twenty-nine years before his death. I am suffering from a long time cancer, which also affected my heart.
My husband and I are Christians, but is quite unfortunately, he he was killed during the past war. I will be going in for an operation, and I pray that I survive the operation. I have decided to WILL / Donate the sum of $4.5 Million United State Dollars to charity through you for the good work of the lord, and to help the motherless, less privileged and also for the assistance of the widows.
I inherited this total sum of $4.5 million dollars from my late husband kennedy emmanuel , when my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of ($4.5 Million USD) Four Million Five Hundred Thousand in one of the local banks here in Abidjan Cote D'ivoire.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the relevant information that will lead you to have access over this fund. I will also present you as the beneficiary of this fund in the bank.
I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you abundantly, and please use the funds well and always extend the good work to others this is a work that God has brougth me to the world to accomplish. If you are interested in carrying out this kinda gesture, I will kindly want you to write me back for further direction and on how to carry out this task i sincerly want you to promise me that you will use this fund for charity as soon as it get to you as i have choosen and dedicated it for charity moderless baby home etc.
I know i have never met you but my mind tells me to do this with you and I hope you will act sincerely.
Your beloved sister in Christ,Charity j Kennedy