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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.SANDRA WAYNE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 17 Jun 2022 12:57:22 -0700
Subject: CAN YOU DO THIS FOR GOD..
CAN YOU DO THIS FOR GOD..
I am Mrs.SANDRA WAYNE from Zurich Switzerland, I was married to late
Mr. WAYNE FRANK who worked at the Agco, global agricultural equipment
manufacturer, I am 79 years old, I am suffering from a long time
cancer of the breast which has affected my talking & hearing lately. The
cancer has reached a critical stage, so my doctors have courageously
advised me to indulge in Prayers as well because it is clear that I would
not live past the next two to three months. I was raised in an orphanage
Home, and was married to my late husband for twenty years without a child.
My husband and I are true Christians so after his death I decided not
tore-marry, he died in a fatal airplane crash CLICK TO VIEW THE NEWS
<http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/1742404.stm> which I know
is political motivated because of his venture in the new oil industry.
I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the huge sum of
$8million USD with a Bank. Presently, the money is still with the
bank, and I received a letter from the management of the holding bank as
the real depositor urging me to come forward to receive the money after
keeping it for such a long or rather issue a letter of approval or power of
attorney to somebody to receive it on my behalf or the management will
confiscate the funds.
Frankly, I can not come over as a result of my illness; I'm with my
laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing treatment. I have
since I lost my ability to talk and my doctors have told me that I have
only a few months to live.
It is my last wish to see that this money is invested in any
Charitable Organization of your choice and distributed each year among
the Charity organizations and Orphanages, so I want a good
humanitarian to use this money to fund Churches, Needy and Widows in
SÃ£o TomÃ© and Principe or in your Country but preferably in SÃ£o TomÃ©
and Principe. I must let you know that this was a very hard decision,
but I had to take a bold step towards this issue, and I hope you will
help see my last wishes come true.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall use the little money I have
for my drugs and Media-care to procure and issue you a letter of
authority which will prove that you are the new beneficiary of my
funds and I shall release the contact of the Bank to you.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein. I
hope to hear from you soonest if you are willing to handle this
project Psalms 41: 1 Blessed is he that considerate the poor, the Lord
will deliver him in time of trouble.
Awaiting your urgent reply as soon as possible.
Yours in Christ.
FROM Mrs.SANDRA WAYNE