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:
- "dear beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Glenda Molins" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 4 Sep 2009 14:43:10 +0800
Subject: Directed to help the needy
From: Mrs. Glenda Molins
My Dear Beloved,
I am the above named person but now undergoing medical treatment in Sunward
Park Hospital, Gauteng. south africa. I was married to Dr. Charles Molins who
worked with British Judicial Commission in England for over a decade before
he died on 5th of July in the year 2004. We were married for fifteen years
without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for two weeks.
Before his death he made a vow to use his wealth for the down trodden and the
less privileged in the society. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or
get a child outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he
deposited the sum of ¢G3.5 Million (Three and a half Million Pounds sterling)
with one Finance/Security Company in Europe.
Presently, this money is still with the Security Company. Recently, my Doctor
told me! that I would not last for the next 4 months due to a rare form of
cancer of the pancreas. Though what disturbs me most is my stroke.! Having
known my condition I decided to donate this fund to an indiv idual or better
still a God fearing person who will utilize this money the way I am going to
instruct here in. I want an individual that will use this to fund and provide
succor to poor and indigent persons, orphanages, and widows and for
propagating peace in the universe.
I understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision
because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband
relatives are not inclined to helping poor persons and I do not want my
husbands hard earned money to be misused or spent in the manner in which my
late husband did not specify. I do not w! ant a situation where this money
will be used in an ungod ly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold
decision. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I know that
I am going to be in the bosom of the Almighty.
I do not need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
health, and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me
always. I do not want them to know about this development. With God all
things are possible. As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the
contact of the Finance/Security Company in Europe. I will also issue you a
letter of authority that will empower you as the original beneficiary of this
fund. I want you to always pray for me.
My happiness is that I lived a life worthy of emulation. Whosoever that wants
to serve the Almighty must serve him with all his heart and mind and soul and
also in truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any delay in
your reply will give me room in sourcing for an individual for this same
purpose. Please assure me that you will act according to my specification
Thank you and may the Almighty bless you
Mrs. Glenda Molins
NOTE= direct your response to this email for more information and for sake of