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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "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)
- 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: Anna Cooper <email@example.com>
Date: 21 Oct 2019 07:00:29 -0700
Subject: reply me back
I am Mrs. Anna Cooper, from Australia, lived in South Africa for 20years and currently residing in London United Kingdom, a widow to late Dr. Andrew Cooper. I am 75 years old, and presently suffering from
My health condition has gotten worse and just two weeks ago my doctor informed me that my condition has reach a critical stage, and that I have just 3 months left. This confirmation from my doctor was and still is a devastating news, it is hard to know that you have just a little time left to live here.
My late husband was a contractor in both South Africa and London, he died in a plane crash and during the period of our marriage we could not bear any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his
death, I inherited all his businesses and wealth both in South Africa and London-United Kingdom.
After the doctor’s medical pronunciation that I have just few months to live, I decided to divide my wealth to contribute to your country and Africa where my late husband as a contractor made lots of money. I want to assist you with the funds to do great charity works in your country, this is my last wish. I selected you after searching few websites; I prayed and was led to you. I am willing to donate the sum
of Four Million, Six Hundred thousand United States Dollars (USD$4,600,000.00) to the less privileged through you.
Please I want to transfer this money to you as I am travelling to South Africa soonest to have my lawyer amend my WILL. If you can handle this fund and very sure to do charity works on my behalf then I
will include your name in my WILL when in South Africa, and from there I will travel to Australia to meet a specialist as I want to be buried alongside my late husband when I passed on. Note that this fund is in
the financial institution and upon my instruction; I will file in an application through my family attorney for the transfer of the money into your account for the said purpose.
Lastly, I honestly pray that this money when transferred will be used for the said purpose even though I might be late then. I have come to find out that wealth is vanity and I made a promise to God that my
wealth will be used to support the poor and the assist the sick. Do let me know if you will be able to handle this fund and use it for the said purpose so that I will inform my attorney and my bank on my
decision. Reply to me using: firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you
Mrs. Anna Cooper