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:
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jp" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2018 15:25:20 -0700
Subject: ## Hello !!
This might come to you as a surprise, especially since we have never met or discuss before, basically the message might sound strange but it is factual in reality if only you care to listen to me. The truth is that I should have notified you first through a more confidential means, (even if it's at least to respect your integrity) please accept my humble apologies if I Had caught you unawares, I frankly do not mean any harm in passing my message.
For security reason and also due to what is happening all over the internet now are days, please the details of my personality and that of my late husband will be directed to you via my private email as soon as I receive your response to my request below.
I am woman and i am undergoing medical treatment at moment. I married to a lovely and gentle man who worked with JAPAN embassy in NAIROBI KENYA for nine years before he died in 2014. He died after a brief illness, I decided not to re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he deposited some amount of U.S. Dollars) in a Finance/Bank. Presently, this money is still with the Finance/Bank. What is actually disturbing me now is my stroke, Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or better still a Christian/individual that will utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in.
I want you to use this funds help the widows, orphanage. I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit the money and my husband relatives are not Christians Nor Muslims, and I don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused. I don't want situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner, hence the reason for taking this bold decision. Please, for now i don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my health, and because of the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the Finance/Bank. I shall also send a letter of authority to the Bank that will empower you as the original- beneficiary of this fund. Please, if you do not have confidence in this message, kindly delete it and accept my sincere apology for contacting you in this manner. And 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 herein.
Hope to hear from you.
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord