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.
- 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 Marit A .Brunel" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 15 Oct 2021 02:23:10 -0700
Subject: DEAREST ONE IN GOD...
My Dear in the lord
My name is Mrs. Marit A. Brunel I am a Norway Citizen who is living in
Burkina Faso, I am married to Mr. Brunel Patrice, a politician who
owns a small gold company in Burkina Faso; He died of Leprosy and
Radesyge, in the year February 2010, During his lifetime he deposited
the sum of â¬ 10.5 Million Euro) TEN million, Five hundred thousand
Euros in a bank in Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso in
West Africa. The money was from the sale of his company and death
benefits payment and entitlements of my deceased husband by his
I am sending you this message with heavy tears in my eyes and great
sorrow in my heart, and also praying that it will reach you in good
health because I am not in good health, I sleep every night without
knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I am suffering from
long time cancer and presently I am partially suffering from Leprosy,
which has become difficult for me to move around. I was married to my
late husband for more than 6 years without having a child and my
doctor confided that I have less chance to live, having to know when
the cup of death will come, I decided to contact you to claim the fund
since I don't have any relation I grew up from an orphanage home.
I have decided to donate this money for the support of helping
Motherless babies/Less privileged/Widows and churches also to build
the house of God because I am dying and diagnosed with cancer for
about 3 years ago. I have decided to donate from what I have inherited
from my late husband to you for the good work of Almighty God; I will
be going in for an operation surgery soon.
Now I want you to stand as my next of kin to claim the funds for
charity purposes. Because of this money remains unclaimed after my
death, the bank executives or the government will take the money as
unclaimed fund and maybe use it for selfishness and worthless
ventures, I need a very honest person who can claim this money and use
it for Charity works, for orphanages, widows and also build schools
and churches for less privilege that will be named after my late
husband and my name.
I need your 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 or online banking.
Mrs. Marit A. Brunel
Email Address >firstname.lastname@example.org.