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:
- 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 feel quite safe dealing with you in this important business" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Loraine Gardne" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 08 Oct 2019 12:22:34 +0200
Subject: PLEASE I NEED A HELP, KINDLY READ THE EMAIL AND GET BACK TO ME
Good Day Dearest,
I pray this mail finds you in a state of your sound health and
indomitable spirit. Please, I would like to confide in you for your
honesty and truth for progress. I feel quite safe dealing with you in
this important business.
Let me introduce myself to you, I am Mrs. Loraine Gardner from a
40 years period of marriage life, 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 and warn me to stop
from thinking over who is going to inherit me and the wealth. Based on
that, today I have decided to donate and contribute to the less
privileges, charity homes, and orphanage homes and to those displaced by
wars going on in the middle-east and around the world. I made this
decision after listing to the news line about 100 years old woman who
secretly donated her fortune and wealth upon her
I choose you after after much prayers as I'm devoted christian and
always doing the right thing as I have the confident in you because I
have prayed. I am willing to donate the sum of $20.5million U.S dollars,
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 money which will
be; six million and one hundred thousand dollars ($6,150,000) as your
compensation for helping me fulfill this desire of donation.
Please I want you to note 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 if you
do not help people as well when they need it. please bear it in mind
that that all the money will rightfully belong to your name 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.
May the grace of our lord the love of god and the fellowship of god be
with you and your family, please further discussion contact me with my
email address: reply me through this email: email@example.com
I await kind response and my regards to your family.
Mrs. Loraine Gardner.Â