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:
- "please endeavor to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "here in london united kingdom" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (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: sylvina thompson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 1 Feb 2011 05:25:09 -0800 (PST)
Subject: DONATION FOR THE CHARITY
From Mrs. Sylvina.Thompson ( For the family)
Address: # 1911 Hughes Avenue Cardiff ,
London United Kingdom
*PLEASE ENDEAVOR TO USE IT FOR THE PURPOSE.*
I am the above name person from United State. I am married to Dr John
Thompson who worked with Russia Embassy for Thirteen years before he
died in the year 2008. We were married for eleven years without a
child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only four days.
Since his death, I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my
When my late husband was alive he secured $ 4.5 Million (Four Million
Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars) deposited in the bank here in
London United Kingdom Presently, this money is still with our
participating bank. Recently, my Doctor told me that from the entire
test conducted on my health, I am not going to last long, especially,
due to my cancer and stroke. But what disturbs me most now is
stroke.known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to Charity
Organizations or individual that will utilize this money the way I am
going to instruct. I want a Charity Organizations or individual that
will use this money to fund Orphanages and Widows.
Blessed is the hand that gives. I took this decision because I don't
have any child that will inherit this money and my husband relatives
are not responsible. I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be
misused,for their own selfish interest and in an ungodly manner. I am
not afraid of death hence I know where I am going.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
health and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me
sometimes. I don't want them to know about this development.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the
financial institution in United Kingdom London. I will also give you
all information regarding the deposit of this money. I will also issue
you a letter of authority that will empower you as the original
beneficiary of this fund.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a Charity
Organizations or individual for this same purpose. Please assure me
that you will act accordingly as I stated
herein. Hope to hear from you soon.
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Contact E-mail: email@example.com