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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "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 Agnes Hillary <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 26 Aug 2019 23:23:48 +0200
Subject: I want You To Benefit.
I am Mrs. Agnes Hilary from London UK, born in the state of Ohio USA. I am legally married to Mr. Hilary Felix, a British citizen born and brought up in USA, I live in Switzerland with my husband for 32 years before we move down to UK in 1985 after my husband retirement in 1984, i am 75 years old by the grace of god. i am a god fearing person, and i am suffering from long time (
40 years period of my marriage life, still we could not produce any child, my late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited some part of his business and money in the bank. the doctor has advised me that I may not live for more than three months and 2 weeks , today I have decided to donate and contribute to you, your Country and to the less privileges, charity homes, and orphanage homes and to those
I choose you after viewing your profile and I have the confident in you because I have prayed. I am willing to donate the sum of gbp£12.5,million British pound, to the less privileged of which you will be responsible in taking care of the disbursement and sharing of this money to organizations that I will appoint. Meanwhile, you will also get 30% of the above amount which will be; three million seven hundred and fifty thousand Great British Pounds (gbp£3,750,000) will be as your compensation for helping me fulfill this desire of donation.
Please I want you to know that this fund is still in the bank where my late husband deposited it, I am going to advice my lawyer to change my last will to your name and file in an application for the transfer of the money in your name. lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred to your account will be used for the said purpose even though I am late then or alive, because I have come to find out that wealth acquisition is not always the final thing in life or death but helping people as well when they need it also matters most. please bear it in mind that all the money will rightfully be changed to your names and will belong to your names as quickly as I get your reply, and I made the promise to god that the fund will be used to help the needy and the less privilege. Please reply to this email:
May the grace and love of our LORD Almighty be with you and your family, please for further discussion, reply to me with my email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org )
I await for your urgent reply.
Mrs. Agnes Hilary.