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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Anita Johnsom <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 13 Feb 2020 08:53:54 +0000
Subject: Dearest Beloved.Greetings to you.
Dearest Beloved.Greetings to you.
First of all let me introduce myself to you I am Sister Anita Adams Johnson
from Ivory Coast . I am married to late Chief Adams Johnson of blessed
memory.My late husband was a produce marchant and contractor to the
government on export of coaca. We were married for eleven Years without a
child, since his death I too have been battling with both cancer and
Recently,I am in the hospital due to my critical health condition and my
doctor told me that I would not last for few months and having known my
condition I Decided to donate my late husband's funds(US$8.7Million)
deposited with a leading Bank here so that you will Utilize this money for
yourself and also for the Orphanages, widows and motherless organizations.
I will also issue an Order of authority to the bank, authorizing them that
the said sum has been willed to you and a copy of such authorization will
be forwarded to you. Any delay in your reply will give room in sourcing for
another person / organization for this same purpose.
You may ask why I took this decision to transfer the fund to you??why can't
I withdraw from the fund to take care of my health???
Until I hear from you today unfailingly,i will give you a detail
information of the fund and get you
cleared of these rhetorical questions.
Sister Anita Johnson