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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Jacinta Zamora <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 20 Aug 2021 17:37:47 +0100
Subject: Reply For Good
I am Mrs. Jacinta Zamora a Widow suffering from ovarian cancer my condition
is really deteriorating and it is quite obvious that i might not live more
than two months, my doctor confirm the cancer has gotten to a very
worst dangerous stage, my late husband and my only child died few years
ago, his death was politically motivated, my late husband was a very rich
and wealthy business man, he was running his cocoa timber plantation
business in CÃ´te d'Ivoire.
After his death, I started managing all his business and wealth, my late
husband deposited Us4.5 million dollars in one of the bank here he wanted
to use the fund to expand his cocoa timber plantation business to other
African countries before his sudden death. I struggle to write you this
memorandum in tears while searching for a reliable and honest person to
help me donate the fund to orphanages in your country. I want God to have
mercy on me and accept my soul, so I decided to charities churches
motherless babiesâ temples less privileged and Give widows alms, Therefore,
I have instructed my bank manager to transfer the capital to a foreigner
that will apply before I passed on. The bank already has the doctor's
report of my physical condition confirming I will not live longer. 80% of
this total amount is for donation, the remaining 20% is for you
Kindly respond immediately
Mrs. Jacinta Zamora