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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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: "Mr. X" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 02 Nov 2019 13:50:20 +0300
I am Mrs. Laila Wilson from Tokelau Island, a terminally ill cancer patien=
t suffering from grade 4 ovarian and breast cancer. I was married to Mr. Al=
ex A. Wilson a real estate and business tycoon notable for his great charit=
y and philanthropic work before his death, which occurred on April 2nd, 201=
3. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of =806,500,000.00 (=
Six Million and Five Hundred Thousand Euro) only, with a bank in Spain, whi=
ch was derived from his vast real estate=92s business. Presently, this mone=
y is still with the bank in Spain in my name as the beneficiary. Meanwhile,=
I am in UK undergoing chemotherapy and radiation treatment in the hospital=
, and my doctors told me recently, that I have limited days to live as the =
cancers continues to spread from where they started to other parts of my bo=
dy. In view of this, I have decided to donate the funds to the less privile=
ges, orphans and charity organizations to put smiles on the orphanage, disa=
bled and the less privileged. Therefore, I need your honest and sincere coo=
peration to receive this money and donate to any non-profit charity organiz=
ations and Motherless babies homes of your choice. I will send official let=
ter of authorization to the bank requesting them to release the money to yo=
u upon receipt of your acceptance and interest. I took this decision becaus=
e I do not have any relative or child to inherit this money when I pass awa=
y, and my late husband only sister died 2011, which is the reason I took th=
is bold decision. Please I do not need any telephone communication as it's =
against the hospital guideline for terminally ill cancer patients, because =
it increases my pain and affect my breath. Please, ignore this message if y=
ou don=92t find it appropriate or worthy of attention, otherwise, I will ap=
preciate very much reading your response. You can contact me only through m=
y personal email address: Reply to : firstname.lastname@example.org Always pray=
for my health. Best regards and Shabbat Shalom. Mrs. Laila Wilson=20