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:
- "million united states 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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: Elvira Mosley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 7 Sep 2019 20:37:57 -0700
My name is Mrs Elvira Mosley. I am a dying woman who had decided to
donate what I have to you. I am 59 years old and was diagnosed for
cancer about 2years ago, immediately after the death of my husband,
who had left me everything he worked for.I have been touched by God to
donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for the
good work of God,rather than allow my relatives to use my husbandâs
hard earned funds ungodly.I have asked God to forgive me all my sins
and i believe he had because He is a merciful God.
I will be going in for an operation,and i pray that i survive the
operation. I have decided to WILL/donate the sum of $5,000,000.00
(five million united states dollars) to you for the good work of the
lord, and to help the motherless,less privileged and also for the
assistance of the widows. At the moment I cannot take any telephone
calls, due to the fact that my relatives are around me and i have been
restricted by my doctor from taking telephone calls because i deserve
all the rest i can get.
Presently, I have informed my Doctor about my decision in WILLING this
fund to you. I wish you all the best and may the good Lord bless you
abundantly, and please use the funds well and always extend the good
work to others.
NB: I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality in this matter until
the task is accomplished,as I donât want anything that will Jeopardize
my last wish, due to the fact that i do not want relatives or family
members standing in the way of my last wish. I expect to hear from you
Please contact me through my email: ( email@example.com )
Thank you and God bless you.
Mrs. Elvira Mosley