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:
- "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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
- for you. hoping to hear from you soon via email.. (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com) remain blessed in the (Mail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Elizabeth Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 17 Aug 2021 15:37:59 +0200
Subject: CAN I TRUST YOU WITH MY HEART...???
Donation For Orphanages
From: Mrs.Elizabeth Johnson
My name is Mrs.Elizabeth Johnson, a widow and a devoted Christian from UK.
I am married to Late Robert Johnson who worked with UK Embassy in South
Africa for 20 years before he died in the year 2010. We were married for 15
years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for only
four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians and we lived
Since the Death of my late husband, I decided not to re-marry or get a
child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is really against. When
my late husband was alive he secured $9.Million (Nine Million U.S. Dollars)
with HSBC Bank here in South Africa. Presently, this money is still with
the financial institution. After the death of my late husband, I have been
suffering from arthritis. Two months ago, my doctor has diagnosed me with
terminal cancer and stroke; I have approximately twelve months to live. But
what disturbs me most now is stroke. I am currently confined to a
wheelchair, and am being cared by a nurse.
Before the Death of my late husband, he make it clear to me that %40 should
be given to you for receiving the fund in your Bank Account while %60
should be used for Orphanages and Widows (humanitarian work).We have no
children and my husband didn't want his brothers to inherit the fund. My
Bible made us to understand that blessed is the hand that giveth. I and my
late husband took this decision because we don't have any child that will
inherit this money.
I am not afraid of death hence I know where I am going. 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 my peace. As soon as I receive your
reply I shall give you the contact of the HSBC Bank where the fund was
deposited. I will also give you all information regarding the deposit of
this fund. I want you and your family to always pray for me because God
work in mysterious ways. My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy
Christian. Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit
and truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life.
Please assure me that you will act accordingly as I stated herein %60 of
$9.Million (Nine Million U.S. Dollars)for humanitarian purposes %40 for you.
Hoping to hear from you soon via email.. (email@example.com OR
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Yours in Christ,
From: Mrs.Elizabeth Johnson