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 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)
- "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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Fri, 24 Jun 2016 01:08:27 +0530
Subject: It's very important
It is by the grace of God that I see today, as I have not particularly
lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even
myself) but my business. Having known the truth; I had no choice than
to do what is lawful and just in the sight of God for eternal life and
in the sight of man for witness of God & His Mercies and glory upon my
I am Mrs. Colleen Mullin, the wife of Late Mr.Colleen Andrey, I am
from united kingdom, My husband worked with the Chevron/Texaco in UK
for twenty five years before he died in the year 2008.We were married
for fifteen years without a child.
My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted for only few days.
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 £8.5 Million pounds (Eight Million Five Hundred Thousand pounds)
with a Bank in UK.
Presently, this money is still with the Bank and the management just
wrote me as the beneficiary that our account has been DORMANT and if I
as the beneficiary of the funds, do not re-activate the account; the
funds will be CONFISCATED or I rather issue a letter of authorization
to somebody to receive it on my behalf (note that you need to
re-activate this account) as I can not do it.
Presently, Im in the hospital in Scotland where I have been undergoing
treatment for esophageal cancer. I have since lost my ability to talk
and my doctors have told me that I have only few months to live.
It is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity
organizations anywhere in the World in helping human race.
Because relatives and friends have plundered so much of my wealth
since my illness, I can not live with the agony of entrusting this
huge responsibility to any of them.
Please, I beg you in the name of God to help me Stand-in as the
beneficiary and collect the Funds from the Bank.And dispatch it in to
charity homes in your country. And always know your share of the funds
is 40% and the balance must be used for the project proper which is
60% dispatching it to the list of charity organization that i'll be
sending to you.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit
this money, and I am not afraid of death since I know where I am going
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
soundless voice and presence of my husbands relatives around me
always. I don't want them to know about this development.
I await your quick response to this email as this is my last wish to
see this funds transferred and distributed to charity homes before my
Contact me through my private email : email@example.com