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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "transferred into your bank account" (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)
- "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)
- ",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)
- "god fearing " (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Mary Louis" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 5 Aug 2021 23:29:59 +0100
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU TO EXECUTE MY PROJECT?
My Dear Friend,
Greetings to you.
Please do not view my plea as a contrived plot.My trusted family
attorney who would have executed my WILL & TESTAMENT on my behalf died
early this year after a brief illness.I therefore prayed fervently and
by the special grace of GOD,i was led to you.I am Mrs.Mary Louis,from
United Kingdom,I am 62 years old. I am suffering from cancer of the
lungs and it has affected part of my brain cells due to
complications.My condition is deteriorating and according to my
doctors i may not be alive in the next couple of months,unless there
is a divine intervention.
I was orphaned as a child and got married to late Engineer.Steve Louis
for twenty years without having an offspring.My late husband had
chronic cardiovascular condition and died of cardiac arrest few years
ago.Steve and I lived in Nigeria for over 18 years,where my husband a
petrochemical engineer by profession worked and rose through the ranks
and became an executive director in a multinational oil servicing and
exploration conglomerate, before his untimely death.He also
established huge private investments that i supervised before his
death and which forms the major source of our fortune.
Consequent upon the shocking demise of my priceless husband, i opted
as a rule, not to re-marry. When medical reports revealed that my
cancer ailment have become terminal & more so because i do not have a
direct next of kin to bequeath all that STEVE & I labored for,i sold
off all our choice assets,landed properties and other valuable family
treasures and deposited the proceeds amounting to USD$10,000,000.00
(TEN MILLION DOLLARS ONLY) with Uba Bank plc. The management of the
bank has written me as the sole beneficiary of the fund because of the
unserviceable status of the fund over the years and suggested to me in
a 2 paragraph statement to issue a letter of authorization to someone
who can manage the fund on my behalf because of my terminal illness
and also threatened that the fund could be
confiscated upon my failure to adhere to their rules and regulations s
clearly spelt out in their code of conduct.
I am on admission at the intensive care unit of a London
hospital,located at Fulham road in west London United Kingdom. It is
the leading cancer treatment hospital in the world.I am currently
undergoing treatment there for late-stage terminal cancer of the
lungs. I am computer literate, I rarely talk but has my personal
laptop with me and has the permission of my physicians to use it,hence
I am writing from my sick bed in the (ICU).It is my last WISH that 85%
of this fund is invested substantially in any charitable organization
of your choice and administered as you may deem fit,especially to the
orphanage homes.You are at liberty to also donate part of the funds to
churches and mosques and to those struck by natural disaster.I have
earmarked 5% of the total fund to run cost of administration of WILL &
TESTAMENT and also on logistics and other sundry arrangements that you
I crave your indulgence as a God fearing individual that equally has
high moral pedestal and who is also an uncommon humanitarian that
cares so much about the plight of the less-privileged as much as i do,
to take it upon yourself and use this fund for the above mentioned
purposes. This is a painstaking decision i have taken in other to help
humanity in my little capacity as a people driven entrepreneur and a
very God fearing woman before i bow to God's sovereignty.
Note that as soon as I receive your reply and personal information as
listed below, I shall avail you with the official contact information
of the Uba Bank plc officials,to enable you contact the Bank without
delays.I will also issue you with an official letter of
authorization,so that my bankers will recognize your status as the new
beneficiary of my ESTATE, FUND, WILL & TESTAMENT. Interestingly 10% of
the total sum is set aside as your compensation for accepting to play
this significant role for me and i hope you will appreciate my kind
Let me remind you that the fund has an open beneficiary mandate and as
such,it is whom i personally authorize or appoint to act on my behalf
that the bank will ultimately recognize and release the funds to and
by this memo,the onus has fallen on you to assume this selfless and
noble responsibility that will catalyze change by exploring and
promoting the development of new interventions that will benefit the
poorest of the poor when the fund is transferred into your bank
Please assure me that you will not treat this offer with levity but
will consciously yield my bequest continued existence.
Kindly send the information in this order:
(1) Your full names :============================= ======
(2) personal or official contact address:======================
(3) Home or Office phone#:============Cellphone#: ==========Fax#:=======
(4) Your Age:===============
(6)Sex/Marital status:======================= =
I Await your kind response while hoping you will appreciate my
Reply me through my private email address: email@example.com
May God bless your golden heart and soul.