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)
- "million 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)
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "calvary greetings" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 Ruhama Koenig <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 7 May 2021 13:25:22 +0100
Subject: Re: I WISH TO GIVE THIS FUNDS TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS
Hello Dear Good Friend,
Calvary Greetings in the name of the LORD Almighty and Our LORD the giver
of every good thing. Good day and compliments of the seasons, i know this
letter will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I implore you to
take the time to go through it carefully as the decision you make will go
off a long way to determine my future and continued existence.
I am Mrs Ruhama Koenig, aging widow of 51 years old suffering from long
time illness.I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of
($18.2 Million Dollars) and I needed a very honest and God fearing who can
withdraw this money then use the funds for Charity works. I WISH TO GIVE
THIS FUNDS TO YOU FOR CHARITY WORKS. I found your email address from the
internet after honest prayers to the LORD to bring me a helper and i
decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to handle these
trust funds in good faith before anything happens to me.
I will appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust in this matter to
accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything that will jeopardize
my last wish. I want you to take 20% of the total money for your personal
use while 80% of the money will go to charity.
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
If you will be honest, obedient, kind and willing to assist me handle this
charity project as Iâve mentioned here and can avoid contact with anybody
for this fund until my fund reaches your hands, I will like you to provide
me your personal data like:
(1) Your full name:
(3) Phone number:
(6) Your identity:
(7) Your occupation
Contact me via my direct email:( firstname.lastname@example.org )
kindly respond quickly for further details.
God bless you
Mrs. Ruhama Koenig