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:
- 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. Sharon Bradley" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 30 Jun 2019 01:17:38 +0200
Subject: Dear Beloved friend,
Dear Beloved friend,
Greetings to you in the name of the Lord, I am Mrs Sharon Bradley, a widow without kids and currently undergoing Lung and Bronchial cancer treatment which is the most deadliest cancer here in USA. I have an important matter to discuss with you regarding my late husbands fund (US$16.5MN) deposited with Wemafinance bank, which the management has sent me the online details of the checking account and stated that I come receive this fund as the next of kin.
I wish to use 70% of this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows around the world while the other 30% would be for your great efforts in making my last wish on earth being accomplished successfully because the doctors has informed me that I have few months to live due to my critical health condition. Kindly contact my personal email (email@example.com) with your private email address for further details and information regarding this important charity project that wont take much of your time and also be for the benefit of the needy.
Mrs. Sharon Bradley