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: Sister Brenda <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 23:52:11 +0100
Subject: Claim of Donation Fund
*Claim of Donation FundGood day to you my beloved in the Lord How is
everything going with you and your family? This message might come to you
as a surprise, However, It all just my urgent needs for a partner, That
made me contact you for this urgent transaction for the Work of God
Almighty, My name is Brenda Jeffrey from United States of America, I'm a
widow suffering from Breast Cancer and Stroke, which denied me a child as a
result, I may not last till next two months according to my doctor report,
I'm married to late Pastor William Jeffrey, and we were married for many
years without any issue of a child before his death, I'm 72 years old woman
and I have some funds which I inherited from my late husband the sum of
(10.5 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 Almighty, 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, Please if you know that you can not afford to carry out this
project by all means in the name of our Lord God as a believer in Christ
Jesus please do not respond back to this email.According to my doctor
report, I don't need any telephone communication in this regards because of
my health condition, The reason why taking this bold decision is because my
husband's relatives are not Christians and I don't want my family hard
earned money to be misused by unbelievers, I don't want a situation where
this Fund 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 Almighty, 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 with you is a divine direction
from God Almighty after all my fasting and prayers.God opened my eyes to
the book of Ecclesiastes 6,verses 1 & 2.Read this scripture and you will
understand that there are many 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 Isaac for sacrifice, Abraham
was faithful and obeyed the Lord Jesus Christ, And God made him the father
of many nations. Please if you will use this fund as I stated in this
letter then direct your reply immediately, Get back to me if you are
interested so that I will lead you to Ally Bank in Utah where this fund was
deposited by my lat husband Pastor William Jeffrey, for you to retrieve the
funds in your name as the next of kin for work of God Affair, I will stop
here until I hear from you soonest. Please kindly contact me backYours