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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: Edith Marie Roland <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 09:29:22 +0100
Hello my Beloved in God,
With warm hearts I offer my greetings to you in the name of our God, and I
hope this letter finds you in good time, I know that this message will
appear as a surprise to you that we barely know but the grace of God
directed me to you and I wish you read this message and be blessed in name
My name is Mrs. Edith Marie Roland Alain, am a nationality of Mauritius,
married to late Mr. David Roland Alain. My late husband was a consultant
with TOTAL Oil Company in Benin Republic for 19yrs before he died on a
heart attack in 2009, (May his soul rest in Peace) and since then, I took
over his business but since June 2015, I was diagnosed with brain tumor
which is giving me terrible pains at the moment.
My doctor just informed me that my days are numbered because of my health
condition. Currently, am admitted in a hospital here in Ghana which I have
exhausted all my savings without improvement.
My aim of contacting you now is that hence my health condition weakens
badly every day and the doctor has informed me that I will not live longer
on earth again and no one to leave my legacy hence I had no child with my
I have a fixed deposit of $3,500,000 (Three Million five hundred thousand
dollars) with Bank Of Africa in Benin where me and my late husband lived
for decades and considering my present condition of health, I have decided
to donate the funds to you so that you will help me to establish a
charitable foundation in my memory so that the grace of God can be with me,
and when am laid to rest, my soul can rest in the Kingdom of God because I
believe it's the only way that God can forgive my sins and accept me in His
I have trust in you because I have prayed to God for several nights to
direct me to a sincere person to whom I can entrust this work of humanity
and it is the result of why I searched on my bedside computer before I got
your email address and decided to contact you for this work of humanity.
Know that you can keep half of the money for yourself and the rest will be
used to create a charitable foundation in my memory and to help promote
fight against cancer.
Kindly ensure that the fund will be used as i have directed you. I count on
your goodwill and especially on the proper use of these funds because I
strongly believe that God will help you as I pass the right of next of kin
I will like to hear from you as soon as possible so I can direct you on how
to contact the bank for the claim as I don't know how long I may live on
Kindly respond on my private emailbox: firstname.lastname@example.org as
am not allowed to use phone calls here in the hospital.
Awaiting your prompt reply,
Mrs. Edith Marie Roland Alain