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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: STEPHANIE SHAWN <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2021 09:43:05 +0200
Subject: HIS WISH
I am Mrs. Stephanie Shawn and I have decided to confine in you by donating
to the Charities based on the instructions passed to me by my late husband
Mr. Steve H. Shawn. I am 70 years old and diagnosed with cancer years ago
before the death of my late husband who was an engineer with government
awarded contracts and from other private contracts. This money I want to
donate originates from over invoice arranged by some government officials
in favor of my late husbandâs company few years back, and accidentally at
one of his construction sites my late husband died under one of the
heavy-duty equipment, during our marriage we had not a single child of our
own to count on. I am highly touched to donate what I inherited from my
late husband for you to invest on it and the proceeds from this investment
will be channeled into charity good work. He sounded a warning never to
allow his relatives to get involved in the left fund. My health will not
permit me to carry out some of these activities, and I am afraid that I can
possibly die one day, and life may not give me a choice than to answer the
call any time God wants me back home.
I managed to get your contact details online during my desperate search for
a trustworthy person to assist me carry out this transaction. I am highly
worried about my health issues and other life challenges. Recently, the
doctors told me that I might not live longer, just a few months after I was
diagnosed with chronic/acute lymphoma or mellitus [leukemia], a blood
cancer in both the bone marrow and in the blood which leads to serious
bleeding and infection. I have been undergoing blood transfusion which
gives me some concerns I canât control. I belong to the high class, and as
a result of my sickness I feel like a leper. I want you to help me out in
carrying out this last wish on earth which will be very profitable to us.
The total amount I want to WILL/Donate to you is the sum of $25.5 million
US (Twenty-Five Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) for an
investment and which I want you to distribute yearly the proceeds of the
investments to any charity home of your choice and the rest for you which I
will inform you on how to share the fund as a part of instructions left
behind by late my husband after the transfer of this sum of money.
And for further information please reply to me as much as you can.
Regards in sincerity,