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 states 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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Evelyn Williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 23:27:53 +0200
Greetings to you from Mrs. Evelyn Williams,
Dearest in the Lord,
Hello Dear, I know you will be surprise to read my email, apart from
being surprise you may be skeptical to reply back to me because of
what is going on in the internet world, one has to be very careful
because a lot of scams are outside there trying to scam innocent
citizen and this has made it very difficult for people to believe
anything that comes out through the internet but this is a different
With due Respect and Humanity, I write to donate and hand over this
fund to you for orphanages and widows / less privileged and propagate
the gospel of God $5.5M (Five Million Five hundred thousand United
States dollars) deposited here in a security firm in Cote d'Ivoire by
my late husband. I, Evelyn Williams, 63 years old without a child,
married to late Engr. Ramsey Williams who worked with (Arthur Golbal
Industries) before he died after a Cardiac Arteries Operation,
presently my doctor said I will not last for four months due to Colon
Cancer, you are requested to send your full name, telephone number and
your resident address for the documentation process for sending the
fund to you without any hindrance to accomplish our noble vow to God.
Thanks and waiting for your quick response.
Always pray for me daily.
God bless us
Mrs. Evelyn Williams