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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Bridggie William" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 16 Oct 2021 10:24:21 +0000
Subject: From Mrs Bridggie William writing from hospital
From Mrs Bridggie William
Ave 12 Rue 123 Abobo 01
Cote D' Ivoire Abidjan
With Due Respect And Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a
humanitarian ground. My name is Mrs Bridggie William nationality of
Mozambique .I am married to Mr. Francisco Willam director J.R Industries
Cote d'Ivoire. We were married for 46 years without a child. He died after
a Cadiac Arteries Operation.
And Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last longer due to my
cancer problem (cancer of the liver and stroke).Before my husband died last
year there is this sum $15.8 Million Dollars that he deposited at the
Security Valut here In Ivory Coast. Presently this money is still in the
Vault. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to any good
God fearing brother or sister that will utilize this fund the way I am
going to instruct herein..
I want somebody that will use this fund according to the desire of
mylate.husband to help Less privilaged people, orphanages,widows and
propagating the word of God. I inherit this fund, And I don't want in any
way where this money will be used in took this decision because I don't
have any child that willan unGodly way. This is why I am taking this
decision to hand you over this Fund.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going.I want you to always
remember me in your daily prayers because of my up coming Cancer Surgery.
Write back as soon as possible any delay in your reply will give me room in
sourcing another person for this same purpose.
Hoping to read from you asap.God bless you as you listening to the voice of
Mrs. Bridggie William