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:
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Teresa Lewis" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 17 Nov 2013 13:51:39 -0800
Subject: Bless You My Dear,
St. Antonius Ziekenhuis Hospital
Koekoekslaan 1 Nieuwegein
May The Lord Bless You My Dear,
I am Mrs. Teresa Lewis, age 73 years old,i am the wife of late Mr. Robert Lewis, i got your contact from my late husband diary,we are both from United State Of America, my husband worked with the Oil and Gas Company Chevron/Texaco in Africa for twenty years before he died after he was release from the kidnappers,We were married for Forty-five years without a child.
My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted only four days after he was release from the kidnappers, When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US $10.5million with Guaranty Trust Bank Plc in the Africa Nigeria,Presently this money is still with the Bank, and the bank management just send me an email to come over for the release of this money or i should rather issue! somebody to received the money on my behalf.
Now I'm in a hospital in Netherlands where I have been undergoing treatment for cancer of the breast and Pneumonia. I have since lost my ability to talk, the doctor told me that I have only a few weeks to live, My dear It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations and people who are in need of help anywhere in the World, I'm contacting you to help me receive this funds and use it for my wishes , my dear i need your information so i can forward it to the Bank to let the management know i have gotten you to received the funds on my behalf, my dear i need Your Name, Your Address, and Your Phone Number as the bank as requested.
Bless you as i hope to read from you soon.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs. Teresa Lewis