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 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Alice <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 15 Jan 2020 21:07:51 +0100
Greetings,Based on your good profile,I want you to solicit help in
fulfilling my wish to help charity poor needy in your country, Iam Mrs.
Alice Hashmai. I am married to Dr. Jordan Hashmai. the former president of
Tigui Mining Group in Abidjan before he died. We were married for sixteen
years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only
Since his death I decided not to remarry or get a child outside my
matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of
$7.5million dollars in a bank. Presently, this money is still in bank
there. Recently,my Doctor told me that I would not last for the period of
six months due to cancer problem. The one that disturbs me most is my
stroke sickness. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund
because I cannot do it alone by myself due to my current condition.
I want you to use this fund for orphanages, school, widows and senior
citizens in your Municipal/State under your supervision. Because I
understand that "Blessed is the hand that giveth.I took this decision
because I don't have any child that will inherit this money and I don't
want my husband's efforts to be invain. I don't want a situation where this
money will be used in an ungodly way.
This is why I am taking this decision. I am not afraid of death hence I
know where I am going. I don't need any telephone communication in this
regard because of my health hence the presence of my husband's relatives
around me always. I don't want them to know about this development.
As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you the contact of my bank.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I Stated herein.Hoping to
receive your reply.