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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Cantal G. Dunlap" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 16 Apr 2020 20:49:30 +0100
Subject: Message from Mrs.Cantal.D
Hello my dear,
With due respect and Humanity, I was compelled to write to you under a
humanitarian ground and more because of the present Covid-19 Pandemic
that has taken away the children of God.
My name is Mrs. Cantal Dunlap,I am married to Mr.Albert George. Dunlap
directors J.D Industries Ghana. We were married for 26 years without a
child. He died after a Cardiac Arteries Operation. And Recently, My
Doctor told me that I would not last for the next six months due to my
cancer problem (cancer of the lever and stroke).
Before my husband died last year there is the sum of $7,2 Million
Dollars that he deposited in a bank here in Ghana. Presently this money
is still in the bank. Having known my condition I decided to donate this
fund to any good God fearing brother or sister that will utilize this
fund the way I am going to instruct herein.
I want somebody that will use this Fund according to the desire of my
late husband. to help less Privileged people, Orphanages, widows and
propagating the word of God.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit
this fund, And I don't want in away where this money will be used in an
ungodly way. This is why I am taking this decision to hand you over this
Fund. I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I want you
to always remember me in your daily prayers because of my up coming
Thanks for now and may God bless you and your family.
Mrs. Cantal Dunlap