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:
- "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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Arik Bukha <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 13:02:57 +0000
Subject: FROM MRS. ARIK BUKHA
Greetings Dearest Beloved,
I know that this letter may be a very big surprise to you, I came
across your email contact from my personal search and I instructed the
doctor here in this hospital to help me email you and i believe that
you will be honest to fulfill my final wish before I will die.
I am Mrs Arik Bukha, 64 years old ,From Mongolia, and I am suffering
from a long time cancer of the breast. From all indication my
condition is really deteriorating, and my doctors have courageously
advised me that I may not live beyond 3 month; this is because the
cancer has reached a critical stage.
I was married to late Dr Baatar Bukha, gold & cocoa exporter in Ivory
Coast (Cote d'Ivoire), West Africa, where we live all our Lives for
Thirty-two years before he died in the year 2017. But is quite
unfortunately, He died after a Cardiac Arteries Operation that lasted
only days. And he deposited the sum of $8.5 Million dollars with a
Bank in Abidjan, where we spend our life together in Ivory Coast.
Presently, this money is still with the bank, and the management just
wrote me as the Legitimate beneficiary to come forward to receive the
money after keeping it for so long or rather issue a letter of
authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I cannot
come over as a result of my illness, or they get it confiscated.
Presently, Iâm with my laptop in the hospital where I have been
undergoing treatment. I have since lost my ability to do anything
myself and my doctors have told me that I have only 3 months to live.
Now that i am about to end the race like this, without any family
members and no child. It is my last wish to see that this money is
invested, but you will assure me that you will take 50% of the money
and give 50% to the orphanages home in your country for my heart to
I want your good humanitarian, to also use this money to fund
churches, orphanages and widows around. I must let you know that this
was a very hard decision, but I had to take a bold step towards this
issue because I have no further option. I hope you will help see my
last wishes come true. As soon as I receive your reply I will give you
the contact of the Bank.
I will also issue you a letter of authority which will prove that you
are the new beneficiary of the money, and the documents concerning the
deposit. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated
herein. Hope to hear from you soonest.
I am waiting your response.
Mrs Arik Bukha