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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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: Ashley Macou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Ashley Macou <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 15:54:02 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Re: Hello Dear Sir / Madam,
Hello Dear .
This message might come to you as a surprise but please be rest assured that it is all for good, Meanwhile, I prayed before contacting you and please do not see my mail as embarrassment as we do not know each other before, since I am in a very critical health condition in which I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive to see the next day.
My Name is Miss.Ashley Macous, a widow suffering from long time illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of (Three Million Nine Hundred Thousand Dollars Only) which was deposited in a security vault in Abroad. My Doctor told me recently that I would not last due to the illness. Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a good person that will utilize it the way i am going to instruct herein. I need a very honest and God fearing person who can claim this money and use it for Charity works, for orphanages, widows and also build schools for less privilege that will be named after my late husband if possible.
I accept this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money after I die. Please I want your sincerely and urgent answer to know if you will be able to execute this project, and I will give you more information on how the fund will be transferred to your bank account.Kindly get back to me here: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) for more details.
Have a blessed moment.