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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may 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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Linah Mohohlo" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Aug 2019 00:15:29 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: GOD BLESS YOU
From Mrs. Linah Mohohlo
The former Governor of the Bank of Botswana.
My Dear in Christ,
Firstly I would like to introduce myself; my name is Mrs. Linah
Mohohlo from Botswana. I am the former governor of the Bank of
Botswana you can view the profile on the panel members at
and read about me. Please I know this may come to you as a surprise,
because you did not know me. 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
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.
presently this money is still with the bank here in South Africa.
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 here in. 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
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 Reply-me no : ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
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