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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Bridget Hemmant" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 29 Jun 2017 17:35:16 +0100
Subject: My donation through you for the less privileged,
Please take your time to read this message; although we have never met
before, this is no spam. It's a real message sent to you. I sent this
mail praying for it to reach you in good health, since I myself is in
a very critical health condition in which I sleep every night without
knowing if I may be alive to see the next day.
I am Mrs.Bridget Hemmant, a widow suffering from long time illness. I
have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of
$2,972,000.00 (Two million Nine Hundred and seventy Two Thousand Us
Dollars),my Doctor told me recently that I would not last due to the
illness. Having known my condition, I decided to donate this funds to
a reliable and trustworthy person that will utilize it the way i am
going to instruct herein. I need a very honest and God fearing person
who can claim the funds on my behalf and use it for Charity works.Such
as orphanages, widows and also build schools for less privilege that
will be named after my late husband if possible.
I took this decision, because I and my late husband does not have any
child of our own who will inherit this money before i join my late
husband. Please I want your sincere and urgent answer to know if you
will be able to execute this project, and I will give you more
information on how the funds would be transferred to your bank
I am waiting for your reply.
Written from Hospital in Benin