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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "may come to you as a surprise" (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)
- "robert mugabe" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "remain blessed" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS.PATRICIA ANDERSON" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2021 09:25:53 +0200
Subject: ????? DONATION
I greet you with the name of our Lord Jesus Christ; it is true that
this letter may come to you as a surprise. Nevertheless, i humbly ask
you to give me your attention and hear me well.
My name is Mrs.Patricia Anderson. From Zimbabwe. I was brought up from
a motherless baby's Home in Harare Zimbabwe in my Country and was
married to my late husband Dr. Jonah Anderson, who are a farmer in
Zimbabwe Iâm here in South Africa I live Here Now Because Of The
Problem We Have in Zimbabwe With Zimbabwe Former President Robert
Mugabe About land Reform, for a period of 7 years before my husband
died. We were married for 20 Years without a child before he died in a
fatal car accident. Since his death I decided not to Remarry due to my
religious belief .I am 59 years old, and am suffering from a long time
cancer of the breast which also affected my brain from all indication
my conditions is really deteriorating And it is quite obvious that,
according to my doctors they have advised me that I may not live for
The next three months this is because the cancer stage has gotten to a
very bad stage,
When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of US$6,000,000.00
(Six Million United State American Dollars) with a Bank here in South
Africa. Presently this Money is still in the custody of the Bank in
South Africa. Recently, my Doctor told me that I would not last for
the next three months due to cancer illness.
HAVING KNOWN MY CONDITION I DECIDED TO DONATE THIS MONEY TO CHURCHES,
ORGANIZATIONS OR GOOD PERSON THAT WILL UTILIZE THIS MONEY THE WAY I AM
GOING TO INSTRUCT HEREIN.
I want you to use this money for (Churches, Charity organizations),
orphanages, widows and other people that are in need. l took this
decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this Money.
Moreover, my husband relatives are not close to me since I develop a
Cancer problem and it had been their wish to see me dead in order to
inherit his wealth since we have no Child.These people are not worthy
of this inheritance. This is why I am taking this decision.
I don't need any telephone communication in this regard because of my
ill-health. As soon as I Receive your reply I will give you the
contact of the Bank where this money is deposited and I WILL ALSO
ISSUE A LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION TO THE BANK THAT WILL PROVE YOU THE
PRESENT BENEFICIARY OF THIS MONEY. I ALSO WANT YOU TO ALWAYS PUT ME IN
THE TOTAL FUNDS TO BE TRANSFERRED TO YOU ARE US$6,000,000.00 (SIX
MILLION UNITED STATE AMERICAN DOLLARS.) IN WHICH 50% WILL BE YOURS AND
50% WILL BE FOR THE LESS PRIVILEGED AND THE HOMELESS PEOPLE IN THE
MEANWHILE I WILL LIKE YOU TO SEND ME SOME OF YOUR INFORMATION LIKE
YOUR FULL NAME, NATIONALITY, OCCUPATION, AGE, AND RELIGION TO ENABLE
MY ATTORNEY TO WRITE OUT AN AUTHORIZATION LETTER ON MY BEHALF AND TO
THE BANK AND INSTRUCT THEM TO MAKE THE MONEY AVAILABLE TO YOU SO THAT
THE BANK WILL GIVE YOU THE MONEY ON MY BEHALF. I WILL ALSO FORWARD TO
YOU THE AUTHORIZATION LETTER AS A PROVE TO YOU,
Please Reply To Me At My Email Address At : firstname.lastname@example.org
Any delay in your reply may give me room to look for another good
person for this same purpose. Please assure me that you will act
accordingly as I stated herein.
Thanks and Remain Blessed,
Yours Sister in The Lord,