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.
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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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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: JULIA KIMO EDWARD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 May 2016 09:20:44 +0100
Subject: PLEASE I NEED YOUR URGENT REPLY
Greetings to you,
I am Mrs. Julia Kimo Edward , 77 years, I was married to Dr. Allison
Edward Brown, who worked with National Iranian South oil company (NISOC)
for twenty seven years before he died in the year 2008, May be you must
have heard about him in the oil firm. We were married for thirty-seven
years without a child. He was held hostage and slain to death by
protesting youths of the region in Iran .
Before his death we were both devoted Christians. Since his death I decided
not to re-marry. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum
USD$13,000,000.00 (Thirteen Million U.S. Dollars) with a Security Company
in Lome Togo West Africa. Presently, this money is still with the Security
Company and the management just wrote me as the beneficiary to come
forward to receive the fund or rather issue a letter of authorization to
somebody to receive it on my behalf if I can not come over as the NEXT OF
Presently, Iâm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing
treatment for cancer of the lungs. I have since lost my ability to talk
and my doctors have told me that I have only less than (4) four months to
It is my last wish to see that this money is invested wisely and at the end
of every year funds are distributed among charity organization. I want a
reliable and honest person that will use this money to reach to the
motherless and also less privileges, to reach to the Katrina Hurricane,
the sick that has no body to take care of them, the poor and widows and to
set up a Cancer research.
If you are willing and honest enough to do my wishes, as soon as I receive
your reply I shall give you the contact of the lawyer who will give you
the documents/details of the transaction and guide you through the
process. I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you
as the new beneficiary of this fund. You are to help me invest this fund
into real estate and stocks. You will be entitled to 25% of every profit
you make in a year. Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I
Please do all things possible to make my wish come through. Email:
Hoping to hearing from you soon.
Mrs. Julia Kimo Edward