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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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:
From: "maria johnson" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 27 Mar 2017 00:08:30 +0100
Subject: GOD IS THE ULTIMATE GIVER!
Mrs maria johnson
12 Alnwick Road
GOD IS THE ULTIMATE GIVER!
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
I am Mrs.Maria Johnson
A widow to the Late Sheik Mohamed Johnson, I am 73 years
I am now a new Christian convert,suffering from long time
cancer of the breast. From all indications my condition is
really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't
live long according to my doctors. This is because the
has gotten to a very bad stage.
My late husband was killed during the U.S raid against
in Afghanistan when he traveled to Afghanistan to monitor
Hospital/a Humanitarian Foundation (HHF) he was setting up
the benefit of the Afghan masses as of then, whose majority,
and 99 percent of them are Muslims/ Islamic scholars and
During the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any
My late husband was very wealthy and after his death ,
I inherited all his businesses and wealth, and when i
noticed that my
condition is not improving rather it gets worsen by the day
to divide part of this wealth, to contribute to Charity
and the development of the churches in Africa, America, Asia
I selected you after visiting the internet and I prayed over
I am willing to donate the fund to you for charity,the less
churches,orphanages and widows, Propagating the word of God
to ensure that the house of God is maintained.I took this
upon myself because I don't have any child that will inherit
money and my husband relatives are not Christians and I
my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers.
because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition
Christ is vanity upon vanity.
Please I want you to note that, this fund is deposited with
Security Firm in London England. and upon my instruction,
you will file in an application for the transfer of the
fund in your name which i registered as a gold bar with
the security company
Lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred
will be used for the said purpose.
May the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,the love of God, and
fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you and your family.
Await Your Urgent Reply,any delay in your reply will give me
room in sourcing for a church, another person or christian
for this same purpose.
Please reply me through this email address:
Yours in Christ.