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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Margaret Bennett"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 06 Dec 2018 13:09:22 -0800
Subject: Praise be to God
Hello dear how are you today hope you are good with grateful heart and grac=
e of God you are blessed.I know that this will come to you as a surprise bu=
t i am contacting you from the direction of God. I am Mrs Margaret Bennett =
from Dublin Ireland i have been a missionary for 23 years before i fell sic=
k and was transferred back to my country i was diagnose of cancer and with =
that i could not be able to continue with my missionary work and coupled wi=
th my age. i was married to late Mr Johnson Bennett who died in a car crash=
. He worked as a construction contractor. My aim of contacting you is that =
while i was in my missionary work my late husband deposited some amount of =
money in a bank before he died he wished that the money be used to help the=
poor the less privilege care for the orphans and also support the work of =
God but since i could not be able to continue with this due to my sickness =
i desire to entrust the fund to you so you can complete the wish of my husb=
and and i want you to promise me that you will use this fund as i have wish=
ed. please i want you to contact me back so we can discuss and proceed on h=
ow to transfer this fund to you as i await for the call of God because i kn=
ow that even if i die today that my heart will not tremble because i know i=
have achieved a lot for God and humanity and the good Lord will accept me.=
Thanks and Christ be with you. Amen Margaret Bennett