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:
- "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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Elizabeth Edward <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jan 2021 18:03:47 -0800
Subject: Dear Friend
Calvary Greetings in the name of the LORD Almighty and our LORD JESUS
CHRIST the giver of every good thing. I know this letter will
definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to take
the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go a
long way to determine my future and continued existence.
I am Mrs. Elizabeth Edward from New Zealand, an aging widow of 58
years. I am childless and I am suffering from a pro-long cancer ill
health. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum
$3.7 Million Dollars and I need a very honest and God fearing who can
withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO
GIVE THIS FUND TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS. I came across your E-mail
from my personal search from the internet after my prayers to the LORD
to bring me a helper and I decided to contact you if you may be
willing and interested to handle these trust and funds in good faith
to fulfill my final wish before I die. I have been trying to handle
this project for the past 4 years by myself hoping I will get better,
but I have seen that it wonât be possible anymore.
I want you to use the 30% percent of the total amount to help yourself
in doing the project while the rest goes for the work of God. I am
desperately in need of your assistance and I have summoned up courage
to contact you for this task, you must not fail me and the millions of
the poor people in our todayâs WORLD. This is no stolen money and
there are no dangers involve its 100% RISK FREE. Please if you would
be able to use the funds for the Charity works kindly let me know
immediately. I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust
in this matter to accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything
that will jeopardize my last wish.
God Bless you
Mrs. Elizabeth Edward