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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand us dollars" (they want you to be blinded by the prospect of quick money, but the only money that ever changes hands in 419 scams is from you to the criminals)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Margret Edward" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 10 Jul 2018 03:59:35 -0700
Subject: DEAREST BROTHER/SISTER ( INVESTMENT/PARTNERSHIP )
DEAREST BROTHER & SISTER IN THE LORD
My name is Margret Edward (Mrs.). Naturally, this letter could come to you as a surprise, since we have not met before. it is by the grace of God that this was taken, knowing the truth and the truth will set me free. Having known the truth, I had no choice but to do what was lawful and rightful in the sight of God for the eternal life and in the sight of man for witnessing God's mercy and glory upon my life. I have the pleasure to share my life briefly with you and also prayed over it, God revealed to me that you are genuine hearted and can do this work.
I am the above named person from USA. I am married to Dr.Martins Edward who worked with US Embassy in UNITED KINGDOM for nine years before his death on March 2014. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for
only four days. Before my death, we were both born again Christians. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of twenty five million, five hundred thousand us dollars ($ 25.5) with FINANCE HOUSE.
Altogether, I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in the UAE, London and Ireland. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I can not do this myself any more. Now, this money is still with the FINANCE HOUSE. And the management just wrote me as the wife of the depositor to come forward to receive the money or rather issue a letter of authorization to somebody to receive it on my behalf since I can not come there because of my illness. Again, I'm with my laptop in a hospital where I have been undergoing a treatment for cancer that had indicated to my doctor that I would not last for the next four months according to his statement.
So it is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations, churches because our relatives have plundered so much of our wealth after my husband's death and my illness got deteriorated. I can not live with the agony of entrusting this hugeresponsibility to any of them. Please, I beg you in the name of god to help me and use the mentioned funds and its interest and distribute it accordingly.
Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to church or a Christian individual who will use this money as I'm going to instruct here. I want a person who has God fearing. Someone who will use this money on churches, orphanages etc, propagating the word of God and ensuring that the house of God is maintained. The bible made us understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I took this decision because i do not have any child who will inherit this Money. My relatives are not Christians and i do not want this hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner.
My happiness is that I lived a life of worthy Christian. So i am not afraid of death so i know where i am going. I know that I'm going to be in the boss of the lord. Exodus 14 vs 14 say that; the lord will fight my case and I will hold my peace. Whoever wants to serve the lord must serve him in spirit and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Please do not need any phone communication in this regard because of my health and the presence of my husband's relatives around me always. I do not want them to know about this development. Any delay in your reply will give me room in searching for a church or Christian individual for this same purpose.
Please kindly contact me for arrangements regarding this transaction and assure me that you will act accordingly as i stated here and you can not betray me once you receive this money on your account. I want you and the church to always pray for me. Please for more details
Thanks and May God Almighty Guide and bless you on helping me with this project Amen
Hoping to hear from you soonest for more details on this email (email@example.com)
Yours sister in the lord,
Mrs. Margret Edward