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:
- 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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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: Mrs Marilyn Simmon <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 1 Sep 2021 13:49:00 -0700
Subject: Claim of donation funds..
*GREETINGS IN JESUS NAME!!!*
*Claim of donation fundsMy dear I want to inform you that this message
might come to you as a surprise. However, it all just my urgent needs for a
partner. Thatâs made me to contact you for this urgent transaction for the
work of God Almighty. My name is Mrs Marilyn Simmon from United States, I'm
a widow suffering from Breast Cancer and Stroke, which denied me a child as
a result I may not last till the next two months according to my doctor
report. I'm married to late Pastor Billy Hull, and we were married for many
years without any issue of child before his death. I'm 69 years old woman.
I have some funds which I inherited from my late husband the sum of (18.5
million dollars) which I needed a very honest and God fearing person who
will claim the funds from the bank and use the funds for work of God Affair
donation in the house of God, like propagating the good news of God and to
endeavor God worshiping place and help less-privileged. I found your
profile and I decided to contact you for the donation work of God
Affair.According to my doctor report I don't need any telephone
communication in this regards because of my health. The reason why taking
this bold decision my husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't
want my family hard to earned money to be misused by unbelievers, I don't
want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. 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 my peace. I will like you to understand that my contact to you is a
divine direction from God Almighty after all my prayers.God opened my eyes
to the book of Ecclesiastes 6, verses 1 & 2.Read this scripture and you
will understand that there are people in this world that God gave the grace
to acquire wealth yet God did not give them the grace to enjoy the wealth.
I happened to fall into the same category now it is the wish of God. When
God revealed to me to use my wealth to do his work, I understood that God
was testing me like He tested Abraham and other men of God. Abraham needed
a child and God asked him to use his only son for sacrifice, Abraham was
faithful. He obeyed and God made him father of many nations. Please if you
will used this fund as i stated on this letter then direct you reply
immediatelyPlease if you would be able to use this funds for the work of
God Affair as I stated contact me back as urgent so that I will lead you to
Bank where this funds was deposited by my late husband Pastor Bailey James
, for you to retrieve the funds in your name as the next of kin for work of
God Affair thanks. I will stop here until i hear from you soonest.Always
pray for my health,May God bless you In Jesus name Amen!!!*
*Mrs Marilyn Simmon.*