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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Helen Ibeku" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 3 Jun 2019 16:15:19 +0000
*Greetings.Greetings to you and your family in the name of God,in my search
for a reliable and God fearing person and having gotten your contact
through prayers and pains taking efforts via searching I made on the
internet on my bed side. Presently, I'm in a hospital where I have been
undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer.Though its a sad and long story
but I will cut it short for your quick and easy understanding. I am Helen
Ibeku (Mrs), widow to Late Mr. Edward Ibeku, former Defense attache to
Greece Embassy in Cote Ivoire. My husband was murdered alongside our only
son Elvis by those who are envious of his position in the same
office. Before his death he made a vow to use his wealth for the down
trodden,orphanages and the less privileged in the society. Having known my
condition I decided to donate this fund to an individual or better still a
God fearing person who will utilize this money the way I am going to
instruct here in the sum of USD$8.5 Million to you 30 Percent of the total
money is for your personal use While 70% of the money will go to charity"
people in the street and helping the orphanage. I want an individual that
will use this fund and provide succor to poor and indigent persons,
orphanages, and widows and for the propagating peace.I took this decision
because I do not have any child that will inherit this money and my husband
relatives are not inclined to helping poor persons and I do not want my
husband's hard earned money to be misused or spent in the manner in which
my late husband did not specify. I do not want a situation where this money
will be used in an ungodly manner.What is required of you is your honesty,
trust and sincerity. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing
for another individual for this same purpose. Please get back to me through
this e-mail address: ( email@example.com )May God Almighty bless you.**Helen