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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Stefan Stefanov <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 02 Mar 2017 16:47:05 -0300
Subject: Most Urgent !!!
I hope this mail gets to you in the best frame of mind. I am sorry if
I am intruding into your privacy by contacting you through this means,
since we do not know each other physically. Well i actually got your
email from your country's web-directory and i decided the best thing
to do is contact you and tell you my story, I do hope you listen with
your heart as you read through my "Letter". The fact is that I have
been directed by the spirit of humanity to you hoping you will be fair
enough to respond to this task that I shall be putting forward to you.
As you rightly know, our today's world is govern by greed, wickedness,
hostility and hatred. People no longer feel safe dealing with close
friends, relatives, neighbors and loved ones. Trust are often betrayed
by people you least expected.
I am sorry for not introducing myself to you before now. I am Stefan
Stefanov citizen of Bulgaria but now undergoing medical treatment in
United Kingdom. I worked with the Gazprom for 10 years in Russia, I
married for 40 years without a child. I do not fancy racial
discrimination and am not a religious fanatic so if you are one of
those that thinks his or her religion or race is superior to that of
other persons, please do me the favor of not replying this mail. I
have spent so many good years in this world and have witness the
beautiful and ugly sides of life. I have learnt not to view life from
one perspective because life itself is very unpredictable. My reason
for contacting you is to combine our ideas and dedication to touch the
lives of the less-privilege in some part of theworld so that a good
name and legacy would be left after our time on earth.
I am actually in the hospital sending this mail to you as I have
experienced one trauma after the other. Medical experts have informed
me I might never live to survive this ailment that has plagued the
last few years of my life. This is because this deadly ailment has
affected my vital organs. Somehow, Since the doctor had confirmed my
situation that I will not live long I have decided to give out my
money to the poor. Deposited the sum of100,000,000.00 (Hundred Million
Great British Pounds Sterling) with my Bank. Presently, this money is
still there. I now feel safer dealing with strangers than people I
know due to constant betrayals I have received from loved ones.
Nowadays, only few people think about assisting orphanage homes and
other charity organizations around the world due to self-
centeredness. The rich are getting richer at the expense of the poor.
Please respond to this mail as soon as you finish reading to let me
know your opinion about assisting the less-privilege and if you have
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of my
Lawyer who will work hand in hand with you. I will also issue them a
letter of authority and change of ownership certificate, that will
empower you as the original beneficiary of this fund, through my
Lawyer. I want you to always pray for me. My happiness is that I lived
a life worthy of emulation. Any delay in your reply will give me room
in sourcing for an individual for this same purpose. Please assure me
that you will act according to my specification here in.
Thanks and remain blessed.