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.
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Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- 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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Ann Suhail <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 13 Nov 2020 08:45:22 -0800
Subject: Waiting for your reply.
Greetings to you my dear,
My name is Mrs. Ann Suhail, married to Dr. Basheer Suhail originally from
He was a Cardiothoracic Surgeon for Twenty-Six years before he died in the
We were married for years without a child. He died after a brief illness
that lasted for some days. He left some funds with a bank in the UK with my
name as his next of kin and I will appreciate your cooperation to use this
money for humanitarian and Charity services. I was diagnosed with a cancer
of the lungs in the year 2016, barely two years after the death of my
husband. Ever since the diagnosis, I have been on and off in various cancer
treatment centers, but I am now permanently confined to a hospital bed.
Recently my doctor made it clear that I no longer respond to medications,
indicating that I have a short time to live due to the illness. Having
known my condition, I decided to entrust this fund to your care, if you can
judiciously utilize it to create a charitable project. I know the fact that
I will not survive this illness and cannot do anything from this sick bed,
but my quest to use the fund in this manner according to the desire of my
late husband prompted me to contact you via this medium. And I cannot rely
on family and closest relatives any more, as they did not show responsible
behavior when I entrusted a reasonable amount to them to distribute during
this pandemic, instead they shared it among them. Therefore, I sincerely
request for your assistance, since my health presently is no longer
promising, to accept this benevolence for the less privileged, to revamp
their standard of living. Please, I need your sincere and urgent answer to
know if you will be available for this service.
I wait patiently for your quick response.
Yours Dearly, Mrs. Ann.