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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Clare Edward <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 18:22:17 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear friend
Dear friend, Â My name is Mrs. Clare Edward a widow suffering from long time illness. I am currently admitted in a private hospital in England, recently my husband died through Corona virus which affected my health badly. I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband, we were married for 35 years without a child and I have done a lot of charitable works, helping the orphans and poor people in the street. Our second home was recently donated to our local church and I have the sum of Â£650,000 left which is deposited with a bank in England and I need you to receive this fund to help yourself, improve your life. The reason why I am donating this sum is to affect your life positively, I don't know you in person but the holy spirit have inspired me to help an unknown individual. Hence I've taking this instruction to obey God's words.
I found your email address from the internet and decided to contact you. I would tell you more about myself and my husband. After your answer to my email, I will instruct my lawyer to include your name in the WILL documents and all the legal documents needed for you to receive this fund in your country.Â Â Â
Remember, this is an instruction inspired by God. I've done a lot of help to others whom I've known in person. But I don't know you.
My alternative email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Your Sister in the Lord
Mrs. Clare Edward