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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Linah Mohohlo" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 18 Apr 2018 03:12:50 -0700
Subject: US$10.5 Million Charity Organizations!Please Read. View
My Dearest in Christ, Firstly I would like to introduce myself; my
Name is Mrs. Linah Mohohlo from Botswana.
I sincerely need your assistance discretely because of my high
business associations, which is the reason why I write to you on a
personal level and through divine direction. It is my desire to have a
genuinely personal relationship with you. I deposited the sum of
USD$10.5M (Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S.Dollars) with
Finance/bank presently. These funds emanated as a result of an
over-invoiced contract which I executed with the Bank of Botswana.
Though I am the person who approved this contract but I honestly never
knew at the time that it had been over invoiced. I am now afraid that
the government of Botswana might start to investigate on contracts I
awarded; presently this money is still with the bank here in South
I suffer from cancer and recently my Doctor informed me that
due to my poor health condition I would not be able to stay alive past
the next three months due to the cancer. None the less what disturbs
me mostly is the stroke I suffered. Having known my condition I
decided to donate these funds to a church or better still A Christian
individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct
I want an individual person or church organization that will use the
funds for churches, orphanages, research centers and widows
propagating the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is
maintained. The Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand
that gives, I took this decision because I have a child that will
inherit this money but my son cannot carry out this work alone. I
therefore decided to use some of the money to work for God and live
some for my son to have a better future.
My only son is only just 15 year old now and having to grow up
without a father he has a low maturity, hence the reason for me taking
this bold decision to ask for your assistance. I am not afraid of
death hence I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord.
Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold
my peace. I would like you to understand that me contacting you is a
divine direction from God; As soon as I receive your reply I shall
give you the contact information of the Finance/bank.
Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a church or
Christian individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that you
will act accordingly as I stated here and Please I will like you to
contact me immediately you receive this mail so that I will instruct
the Finance/bank to transfer this fund into your account. Remain
blessed in the name of the Lord.
Mrs. Linah Mohohlo and only Son Favor.
Godâs favor is sufficient for me