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.
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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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Joy Cecillia .This is Charity Donation" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2017 10:57:52 +0200
Subject: This is Charity Donation From Mrs Joy Cecilia.
God will bless you as you fulfilled my wish
My name is Mrs. Joy Cecillia, I am a dying woman who had decided to donate
what I have to the Charities. I am 75 years old and was diagnosed for
cancer about four years ago, immediately after the death of my husband; I
have been touched to donate from what I have inherited from my late husband
for the good work rather than allow his relatives to use my husband's hard
As I lay on my sick bed, I want you to help me in carrying out my last wish
on earth which will be very profitable to you. I want to WILL a total sum
of $5.5 million USD to you which I want you to distribute part of it to any
charity home for me and the rest for yourself and your family which I will
inform you on how to share all, please for further information contact me
Please reply me only with this my private email id: email@example.com
Mrs. Joy Cecilia.