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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Sylvia Stroher" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2009 20:06:31 -1200
Subject: BLESS YOU
From:Lady Sylvia Ströher
23-16 street, Berlin,Germany.
I am Lady Sylvia Ströher suffering from cancerous ailment.
I am married to Lord Stroher,a German shipping tycoon notable
for his great wealth,influential extended family,and charitable
activities all his life before his death.Our life together as man
and wife lasted for three decades without child.My husband died
after a protracted illness in August 22,2007.My husband and I made
a vow to uplift the down-trodden and the less-privileged individuals
as he had passion for persons who can not help themselves due to
physical disability or financial predicament.I can adduce this to
the fact that he needed a Child from this relationship,which never
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 20.000.000.00
(Twenty Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling) which were derived from his
vast estates and investment in capital market with his bank in United
Kingdom and named me as the beneficiary of this trust fund.
Presently,this money is still with the Bank.
Recently, my Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to
the cancerous problems I am suffering from.Though what bothers me
most is the stroke that I have in addition to the cancer.
With this hard reality that has befallen my family,and me I have
decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift
which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows,
widowers,orphans,destitute, the down- trodden, physically challenged
children,barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely
It is often said that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this
decision because Ido not have any child that will inherit this
money and my husband relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy
persons and I do not want my husband's hard earned money to be
misused or invested into ill perceived ventures.I do not want a
situation where this money will be used in a worldly manner, hence
the reason for taking this bold decision.I am not afraid of death
hence I know where I am going.I do not need any telephone
communication in this regard due to my deteriorating health and
because of the presence of my husbands relatives around me as
i am currently bed ridden in the Family house here in 23-16 street,
and do not receive any visitors unless approved
by Huwer Stroher who is the immediate younger brother to my late
husband.I do not want them to know about this development in order
to safeguard this bequest.I will also authorise my Private Attorney
in the UK whom i communicate with via emails all the time,to issue
a Letter of Authority that will empower you as the new beneficiary
of this fund, he would also endorse my WILL where i will name you
as the beneficiary of the 20.000.000.Million GBP.You can contact my
personal Lawyer through his email address only on this email below please:
Barrister Jones Shealy
Tell him that I have WILLED the said sum to you and the reason for
doing this is best known to me.My happiness is that I lived a life
worthy of emulation. Please always be kindhearted all through your
life.Please assure me that you will act just as I have stated herein.
Lady Sylvia Ströher