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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "helen.carlsen26" <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 11:39:44 +0100
Subject: Hello My Dear.
I sent this mail praying it will found you in a good condition of
health, since I myself are in a very critical health condition in
which I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive to see
the next day. I'm Mrs. Helen John carlsen, wife of late Mrs. Helen
John carlsen, a widow suffering from long time illness. I have some
funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of ($ 11.000.000
,eleven million dollars) my Doctor told me recently that I have
serious sickness which is cancer problem. What disturbs me most is my
Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a good
person that will utilize it the way i am going to instruct herein. I
need a very honest and God fearing person who can claim this money and
use it for Charity works, for orphanages, widows and also build
schools for less privileges that will be named after my late husband
if possible and to promote the word of God and the effort that the
house of God is maintained.
I do not want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly
manner. That's why I'm taking this decision. I'm not afraid of death
so I know where I'm going. I accept this decision because I do not
have any child who will inherit this money after I die. Please I want
your sincerely and urgent answer to know if you will be able to
execute this project, and I will give you more information on how the
fund will be transferred to your bank account. I am waiting for your
May God bless you and your family.
Best Regards, Mrs. Helen John carlsen,