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:
- "million dollars" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.IRIS STOBBS" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 11:38:18 +0200 (CEST)
Subject: PLEASE READ VERY CAREFULLY AND RESPOND
My Dear beloved Friend,
Greetings in the name of God,Pls let this not sound strange to you for my
only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early this year.i
prayed and got your email id from your country guest book. I am Mrs. Iris
Stobbs from Florida USA,I am 58 years old,i am suffering from a long time
cancer of the lungs which also affected my brain,from all indication my
conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that, according
to my doctors they have advised me that i may not live for the next two
months,this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.
I was brought up from a motherless babies home was married to my late
husband for twenty years without a child,my husband died in a fatal motor
accident Before his death we were true believers.Since his death I decided
not to re-marry,I sold all my inherited belongings and deposited all the
sum of US$11.5Million Dollars with a United Bank for Africa Plc.
Presently, this money is still with them and the management just wrote me
as the true owner to come forward to receive the money for keeping it so
long or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it
on my behalf since I can not come over because of my illness or they get
Presently, I'm with my laptop in a hospital here in London where I have
been undergoing treatment for cancer of the lungs. my doctors have told me
that I have only a few months to live.It is my last wish to see that this
money is invested to any organization of your choice and distributed each
year among the charity organization,the poor and the motherless babies
I want you as God fearing person, to also use this money to fund
church,mosque, orphanages and widows,I took this decision, before i rest
in peace because my time will so on be up. As soon as I receive your reply
I shall give you the contact of the United Bank for Africa Plc.I will also
issue you a letter of authority that will prove you as the new beneficiary
of my found. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated
Hoping to hear from you soon.
NAME: __________SURNAME:__________________SEX: _____ AGE: ______MARITAL:
_______________COUNTRY: _______CITY: _________ STATE _______
ZIP CODE: _______CONTACT ADDRESS: ___________PHONE NO#________FAX NO#_____
Waiting for your reply.
Reply me through this my private email address: email@example.com
Thanks and God Bless you