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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- 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. Suzette E. <email@example.com>
Date: 27 May 2020 09:30:09 -0700
Subject: Greetings from Mrs. Suzette E.
My name is Mrs. Suzette Engelhorn, a German citizen. I am a widow suffering from breast cancer and renal failure, as a result I may not last till the next two months according to my doctor's report. I was married to my late husband Mr. Ruprecht Engelhorn who worked with BASF (Badische Anilin und Soda Fabrik) Germany, and we were married for many years without a child before his death.
I am 52 years old woman.I inherited the sum of sum of €3.2 million Euro from my late husband, and I am in serious need of a good and honest person who will claim the funds from the Bank where it was deposited and funds use for donations to less-privileged and orphanage homes, building schools for the destitute and disaster affected people.
I decided to contact you for this donation as part of my contribution to help mankind and i would be happy anywhere i may be.I do not need any telephone communication in this regards because of my present health condition in accordance to my doctor's guideline report, get back to me through my direct email at
firstname.lastname@example.org,so that I will direct you to the Bank where this funds were deposited by my late husband Mr. Ruprecht Engelhorn, to enable you retrieve the funds in my name as the next of kin if you can be able to carry out this humanitarian projects as i have wished.
Mrs. Suzette Engelhorn