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:
- 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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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. Irene Shawcross." <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 12 Mar 2019 10:04:08 +0200
Subject: I Wait For Your Reply.
Greetings My Dear Friend,
My name is Mrs. Irene Shawcross; I am a dying woman, my health condition
is not good as I am talking to you right now, because of this I have
decided to donate the little I have to the Charities based on the
instructions given to me by my late husband Mr. Hendricks Shawcross; who
passed away in a plane crash on his way to execute a contract job in
Switzerland. I am 70 years old and was diagnosed of cancer about four
years ago, but before the Death of My husband who was a Marine engineer
and contractor, we had no single child of our own to count on; So we
were touched and decided to donate from what we have inherited and
owned; my late husband and I made this decision after I was diagnosed
with cancer, to use the remainder of what we have for the good work
rather than allow his relatives to lavish my husband's hard earned
wealth and money, although they have already looted and taken a lot and
they are nowhere to be found around me now, because I have been in the
hospital bed with this sickness of cancer. My health will not permit me
to do these things I decided with my late husband each day that passes
by, even although I am afraid to die, but life gives me no other
choice. That is why I searched for you contact details.
I managed to get your contact details online in my desperate search for
a trustworthy person to assist me in this project of donation, and you
will also benefit financially from it. Recently, the doctors told me I
might not live longer than 3 months after they diagnosed me of
chronic/acute lymphoma or myelitis [leukemia]. Leukemia is a blood
cancer in both the bone marrow and in blood itself, leukemia cells crowd
out normal blood cells leading to serious bleeding and infection. I have
been undergoing blood transfusion and it has finished my little savings
in my hand although I belong to the high and rich, but now I eat like a
person who has nothing, as a result of this sickness my purse is empty.
I want you to help me in carrying out my last wish on earth which will
be very profitable to us. I want to WILL/Donate to you the total sum of
$20.5million US-Dollars (Twenty Million, Five Hundred Thousand US
Dollars), which I want you to distribute part of it to any charity home
for me in your country and the rest for yourself and your family. I will
inform you on how to share all as part of instructions from my late
husband before his death; You will get 20% of the money as your
compensation for helping me and my late husband to fulfill this project.
Please for further information contact me ASAP. Please reply as quickly
as you can, based on the fact that this is very urgent. You can also
call me if you can, although I am in and out the hospital for treatment,
but once the hospital gives me chance to use my phone I will answer your
call or call you back. So send your direct phone numbers as you reply
back to me.
Here is my Direct email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and .Phone:
Regards in sincerity,
Mrs. IRENE SHAWCROSS.