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:
- 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:
- "million 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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- 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.
- email@example.com (Yahoo, Japan; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Rose Clark" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 2 Jan 2020 00:00:30 -0800
My name is Mrs Rose Clark , age 56 wife of Late Mr Richard Clark we are both British Citizen. My husband worked as Senior Manager with an Oil Company for Twenty Eight years before he died in the year 1993. We were married for Thirty years without a child.
My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians and after his death I decided not to re-marry. Before my husband died, he had cash Investment of $35 Million United Dollars (Thirty Five Million United State Dollars) which he made me the Beneficiary. Presently I am in Pupa Cromwell Hospital United Kingdom where I am undergoing treatment of two deadly disease of breast cancer and cancer of the blood. I have since lost my ability to move around and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live as my condition worsen each day.
Before my husband died, it was his last wish to ensure that his $35M be use for charity across World, it is for this reason I humbly request you to help me Stand and receive this payment of $35 Million United States Dollars in which I have decided to give you 5 Million United States Dollars which will be for your effort and any expenses you may incurred in the process of receiving this payment while the balance $30 Million United Dollars should be distributed for Charity to take care of orphanages, widows, disaster Victims and also to fund churches. I took this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money and because my husband was the only child of his late parent.
The doctor will not allow me to talk to anybody but I have a Reverend Father who knows my family for over 20 years and has always come to the Hospital to pray for me, I have giving him the sum of $10.000 Dollars for the process of the documentation that will bear your name as the next of kin of the fund entrusted him with vital information which you will require in order to receiving this payment therefore immediately I receive your reply, I will forward your name and email address and other contact to Reverend Father Warren Gate who is presently in United States of American for Missionary Assignment. so that he will supervise the processing of your power of attorney, all I want from you is for you to make time out of your very busy schedule and see to the success of receiving this payment within the shortest period of time because the directors of the investment company where the fund is logged may use the fund for their selfish purpose in case anything happen to your beloved Mrs Rose Clark. Kindly reply to
s (3) Your Telephone (Cel
Hoping to hear from you soonest. Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you and God Bless you.
Mrs Rose Clark