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:
- 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.
- 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. Juan Bitar Wigan" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 5 Sep 2021 18:38:37 -0700
Subject: Good day to you
Good day to you, my name is Mrs. Juan Wigan from Canada, I am writing this mail to you with heavy sorrow in my heart, but God knows you better and he knows why he directed me to you at this point of time. I was married to Jefferson Wigan who worked with the Canadian Embassy in India, for ten years before he died in 2008. We were married for eleven years without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted for five days and since his death, I decided not to remarry again. My late husband deposited the sum of ($4.5m) in a Bank. He made this money available for exportation of gold from Indian Gold mines called Kolar Gold Fields(KGF).
Recently, the doctor told me that I don't have much time to live due to cancer problems, and this disturbs me the most. I have decided to hand you over this money to take care of the less-privileged. I want you to take 40 percent of the money for yourself and 60% of the money will go to charity and the orphanage. I don't have any child and my husband's relatives are not even good at all, they were responsible for his death in other to have all the properties. I don't want my husband's efforts to go to those that conspired for his death. I grew up as an orphan and I don't have anybody as my family member.
Once I receive your reply I will send an authorized letter that will prove you the beneficiary. I contacted you because I dont have any other option and whoever that wants to serve God must serve him in spirit and truth because God is the highest. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Im doing this so that God will
forgive my sins and accept my soul because this sickness has suffered me so much. Hoping to receive your reply. Please reply through my
Mrs. Juan Bitar Wigan