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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- "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, Suran Yoda" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 20 Nov 2019 17:10:47 +0200
Subject: Greetings in the name of God, Business proposal in God we trust
Greetings in the name of God,please let this not sound strange to you
for my only surviving lawyer who would have done this died early this
year.I prayed and got your email id from your country guestbook. I am
Mrs Suran Yoda from London,I am 72 years old,i am suffering from a
long time cancer of the lungs which also affected my brain,from all
indication my conditions is really deteriorating and it is quite
obvious that,according to my doctors they have advised me that i may
not live for the next two months,this is because the cancer stage has
gotten to a very bad stage.I am married to (Dr Andrews Yoda) who
worked with the Embassy of United Kingdom in South
Africa for nine years,Before he died in 2004.
I was bred up from a motherless babies home and was married to my late
husband for Thirty years without a child,my husband died in a fatal
motor accident Before his death we were true believers.Since his death
I decided not to re-marry,I sold all my inherited belongings and
deposited all the sum of $13.5 Million dollars with Bank in South
Africa.Though what disturbs me mostly is the cancer. Having known my
condition I decided to donate this fund to church, synagogue, mosque
or any house of worship.i want you as God
fearing person,to also use this money to fund church,mosque,orphanages and
widows,I took this decision,before i rest in peace because my time
will so on be up.
The Bible made us to understand that blessed are the hands that
giveth. I took this decision because I don`t have any child that will
inherit this money and my husband's relatives are not Christians and I
don`t want my husband hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers.
I don`t want a situation where these money will be used in an ungodly
manner,hence the reason for taking this bold decision.I am not afraid
of death hence i know where am going.Presently,I'm with my laptop in a
hospital here in London where I have been undergoing treatment for
cancer of the lungs.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of the
Bank.I will also issue you a letter of authority that will prove you
as the new beneficiary of my fund.Please assure me that you will act
accordingly as I stated.Hoping to hear from you soon.
Contact me on my private Email, firstname.lastname@example.org
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
Mrs Suran Yoda