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:
- 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:
- "million united states 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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "power of attorney" (with your bank details and a power of attorney form criminals sometimes empty bank accounts)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Rose Clark" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Oct 2021 17:11:28 -0700
Dearest Beloved, 16/10/2021
My name is Mrs. Rose Clark , age 60 wife of Late Mr. Richard Clark we are both British Citizens. My husband worked as Senior Manager with an Oil Company for Twenty-Eight years before he died, We were married for Thirty years without a child.
My Husband died after a brief illness that lasted only four days. Before his death we were both born again Christians and after his death I decided not to remarry. Before my husband died, he had a cash Investment of $35 Million United Dollars (Thirty-Five Million United State Dollars) which he made me the Beneficiary. Presently I am in Bupa Cromwell Hospital United Kingdom where I am undergoing treatment of two deadly diseases of breast cancer and cancer of the blood. I have since lost my ability to move around and my doctors have told me that I have only a few weeks to live as my condition worsens each day.
Before my husband died, it was his last wish to ensure that his $35M be use for charity across World, it is for this reason I humbly request you to help me Stand and receive this payment of $35 Million United States Dollars in which I have decided to give you 5 Million United States Dollars which will be for your effort and any expenses you may incurred in the process of receiving this payment while the balance $30 Million United Dollars should be distributed for Charity to take care of orphanages, widows, disaster Victims and also to fund churches. I took this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money and because my husband was the only child of his late parents.
The doctor will not allow me to talk to anybody but I have a Reverend Father who knows my family for over 20 years and has always come to the Hospital to pray for me, you will require in order to receiving this payment therefore immediately I receive your reply, I will forward your name and email address and other contact to Reverend Father Warren Gate who is presently in United States of American for Missionary Assignment. so that he will supervise the processing of your power of attorney, all I want from you is for you to make time out of your very busy schedule and see to the success of receiving this payment within the shortest period of time because the directors of the investment company where the fund is logged may use the fund for their selfish purpose in case anything happen to your beloved Mrs. Rose Clark . Kindly reply to this mail as soon as possible and remember to indicate (1) Your Full Name, (2) Your Contact Address
s (3) Your Telephone (Cel) Your ID card Your occupation,
Hoping to hear from you soon. Please reply to Thank you and God Bless you.
Mrs. Rose Clark