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 beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 Habibah Fenyang" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 28 Jul 2020 21:32:26 -0700
Subject: Urgent Please Dear
My name is Mrs Habibah Fenyang i am from London, I am a sick widow suffering
from cancer for so many years and From all indication i will die soon
because my condition is deteriorating and its quite obvious that i might not
live long, because the cancer stage is now very severe. as the doctor said.
I am all alone in this situation as My husband Mr Mohamed Hanadi Fenyang
died in a air crash on the 31st October 1999 in an Egyptian airline Boeing
990 and my only daughter died in the London BOMB ATTACK.
I have suffered allot of pains in this sickness and so much loneliness here,
so funny world that after all i inherited from my husband, i still cannot
buy a good health. and i wish and pray that you will never suffer or
experience this situation In Jesus name. as i am about to die all i want now
is that my inherited money be used in charity work for humanitarian service
to help cancer patient and the poor and needy all over the world..
My late husband was a very wealthy oil merchant and after his death, i
inherited the sum of $18,000,000.00 (Eighteen Million United State Of
American Dollars) which i have managed all these while before i became sick
and diagnose to die soon. This $18,000,000.00 is deposit with a security
I am contacting you with regard to my last wish on charity work for
humanitarian service, i want 40% of the fund used to open a foundation for
cancer in my name, 35% for motherless babies less privilege and homeless in
EUROPE,AMERICA, ASIA AND AFRICA and 25% will be for you because of your help
and any other process you might undergo in caring out my wish.
Please i seek your utmost trust to help me accomplish this wish on charity
work for humanitarian service, please if you know that you will no do as i
have wished and stated above, do not reply me for God sake and remember GOD
is watching us. and he will judge all men. every thing on earth is vanity
upon vanity, what matters is how much people we can help while on earth. i
need your help on this project.
I will wait to read from you as this is urgent
Your Beloved in God,