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.
- 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)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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. GILL MARCUS" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 6 Aug 2021 10:58:07 +0200
Subject: Hello beloved Good Day
My Beloved in Christ,
Firstly I would like to introduce myself; my name is Mrs. Gill Marcus
from South Africa. I am the Former governor of South Africa reserve
bank. I know this may come to you as a surprise, because you did not
know me. I sincerely need your assistance discretely because of my
high business associations, which is the reason why I write to you on
a personal level and through divine direction. It is my desire to have
a genuinely personal relationship with you.
Being the ninth person and the first and only woman to hold the
position I deposited the sum of USD$30.5M (Thirty Million Five Hundred
Thousand U.S. Dollars) with Standard/bank of South Africa presently.
These funds emanated as a result of an over-invoiced contract which I
executed with the Reserve Bank. Though I am the person who approved
this contract, I honestly never knew at the time that it had been over
invoiced. I am now afraid that the government of South Africa might
start to investigate the contracts I awarded; presently this money is
still with the bank here in South Africa. I suffer from cancer and
recently my Doctor informed me that due to my old age I would not be
able to stay alive past the next six months due to the cancer.
Nonetheless what disturbs me mostly is the stroke I suffered. Having
known my condition I decided to donate these funds to a church or
better still a Christian individual that will utilize this money the
way I am going to instruct here. I want an individual person or church
organization that will use the funds for churches, orphanages,
research centers and widows propagating the word of God and to ensure
that the house of God is maintained.
The Bible made us understand that blessed is the hand that gives, I
took this decision because I adopted a child that will inherit this
money but my son cannot carry out this work alone. I therefore decided
to use some of the money to work for God and live some for my adopted
son to have a better future.
My adopted son is only just 15 year old now and having to grow up
without a father he has a low maturity, hence the reason for me taking
this bold decision to ask for your assistance. I am not afraid of
death hence I know that I am going to be in the bosom of the Lord.
Exodus 14 VS 14 says that the lord will fight my case and I shall hold
I would like you to understand that me contacting you is a divine
direction from God; As soon as I receive your reply I shall give you
the contact information of the Standard/bank. I will also issue you a
letter of authority that will empower you as the new beneficiary of
the funds. Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing for a
church or Christian individual for this same purpose.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated here and
Please I will like you to contact me immediately you receive this mail
so that I will instruct the Standard/bank to transfer this fund into
any of your giving account.
Please for further discussion contact me with my private email address
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Mrs. Gill Marcus