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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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:
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Ruth Kempf <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 12:50:29 -0200
Subject: Very important
May this letter find you in good health, as you spare some of your precious
minutes to read the following appeal with a sympathetic mind. I am writing
to you with the help of my female Nurse, here at the hospital because I
have been battling serious breast cancer (TNBC). My name is Mrs. Ingeborg
Ruth Kempf. I am a 66 years old woman and I am legally married to the
deceased Mr.Michael Kempf. My husband and I have lived here in Ivory Coast,
West Africa for the past 40 years. My deceased husband worked with an oil
drilling company as an expatriate here in Africa before he died. We were
both married without a single biological child of our own. When my husband
was alive he deposited the sum of Four million five hundred thousand Euros
(4,500,000.00 euro) with a bank here in Ivory Coast which he signed an
agreement with the bank that the funds will only be used for charity
purposes in any European country such as; helping the poor and motherless
babies, supporting church activities and helping the unprivileged children
to continue their education in Europe. My husband made this decision
because we have no child who will inherit the funds in the bank here in
Africa and he was brought up by an orphanage center in Austria Before we
moved down to Africa.
I contacted you today because my doctor just informed me that my breast
cancer sickness has gotten worse and they are going to carry out a
serious/deadly cancer surgery which I might not survive because the disease
has eaten deep into my body system. I am afraid that if I die during my
surgery, the funds in the bank here will be forgotten because I have no
other relatives to claim it. I am unable to locate any of my husbandâs
family in Austria.
I want to transfer these funds to your bank account for charity work.
After the transfer to your bank account; you will deduct 30% of the total
funds for yourself as compensation and use the remaining 70% to proceed
with the charity work in your country. Please reply to me urgently if you
are interested to help me in this charity transaction so that I will send
you more details because I want the funds to be transferred out from the
bank here before my upcoming surgery.
Mrs. Ruth Kempf