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.
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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:
- "from the desk of" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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.Dominica Williams" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Dec 2019 18:00:45 -0800
From The Desk Of:
Please Reply To This Email:( email@example.com )
Greetings, I am former Mrs.Fatima Setia Williams, now Mrs.Dominica Williams, A widow to the Late Sheik Mohammed Williams, I am 72 years old, I am now a new Christian convert, suffering from long time cancer of the breast. From all indications my condition is really deteriorating and it's quite obvious that I won't live more than four months according to my doctors. This is because the cancer stage has gotten to a very bad stage.
My late husband was killed during the U.S raid against terrorism in Afghanistan when he traveled to Afghanistan to monitor an Hospital / a Humanitarian Foundation (HHF) he was setting up for the benefit of the Afghan masses as of then, whose majority, and 99 percent of them are Muslims / Islamic scholars and loyalists, during the period of our marriage we couldn't produce any child. My late husband was very wealthy and after his death, I inherited all his businesses and wealth.
My doctors have advised me that I may not live for more than four months,so I now decided to divide part of this wealth, to contribute to the development of the churches in Africa, America, Asia and Europe.I selected you after visiting the website and I prayed over it, I am willing to donate the sum of U$12, 200,000.00, Dollars to you for the
less privileged. Please I want you to note that, this fund is deposited with a Security Firm and upon my instruction,you will file in an application for the transfer of the money in your name.
Lastly, I honestly pray that this money. U$12, 200,000.00, Dollars when transferred into your bank account, will be used for the said purpose, I Await Your Urgent Reply. kindly contact my lawyer BARRISTER Paul George. through his Email:Address:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
Mrs. Dominica Williams (JP).