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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Sharon Grossklaus" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 2 Jun 2021 12:11:31 +0200
Subject: Message From Mrs. Sharon Grossklaus
Message From Mrs. Sharon Grossklaus
Greetings to you, I know this proposal will definitely come to you as a
huge surprise, but I implore you to take your time to go through it
carefully as the decision you make will go a long way to determine my
future. My name is Mrs.Sharon Grossklaus, from Germany. I am married to
Late Mr. Andrin Grossklaus. He was the Director of T.C Industries Cote
D'ivoire. We were married for years without a child. He died during the
political crises. Recently, My Doctor told me that I would not last long
due to my cancer (Hepatocellular carcinoma) problem. Before my husband
died, there is this sum of $ 7.5m (Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand
United State Dollars) that he deposited in account with a bank in Cote
Presently this money is still in the Vault of the bank where he deposited
it. Having known my condition I decided to donate this fund to any good God
fearing person that will utilize this fund the way I am going to instruct
herein and somebody that will use this fund according to the desire of my
late Husband to help Less privileged people, orphanages, widows and
propagating the word of God.I found your email address from the internet
after honest prayers to the LORD to bring me HONEST PERSON I CAN CONFIDE
ON, and I decided to contact you if you may be willing and interested to
handle these trust funds in good faith. I made this decision because I do
not have any child that will inherit this fund and I do not want in a way
where this money will be used in an ungodly way.
This is why I am taking this decision to hand you over this Fund. I am not
afraid of death hence I know where I am going. I want you to always
remember me in your daily prayers because of my upcoming Cancer
Surgery.This is not stolen money and there are no dangers involved. Please
kindly respond quickly for further details if you can handle this task. Any
delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for this
Hoping to read from you .
Mrs. Sharon Grossklaus