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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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 next of kin 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mary Johnson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 11 Nov 2021 11:20:45 +0000
Subject: WORK OF GOD.
*From Mrs. Mary Johnson*
*Private Email: **email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>*
*This is a Bequest notice.*
*I am sure this mail would be coming to you as a surprise since we have
never met before and you would also be asking why I have decided to choose
you amongst the numerous internet users in the world, precisely I cannot
say why I have chosen you but do not be worried for I saw your profile on
the Internet, which has made me accomplish my request. May the almighty God
bless and see you through with this mission if you can carefully read and
digest the message below.*
*Before I move further, permit me to give you a little of my biography, I
am Mother Mary Johnson, 67 Years old woman and the wife of Late Sir Steve
Johnson who died alongside our only child in a Plane crash on Monday the
7th of September 1998 GMT 14:22 UK while they were flying from New York to
Geneva. Please see the site below for more information. *
*After the death of my husband and son ,I became the Head of his investment
and just recently, the doctors handling my health issues at Cancer center:
Christie Hospital NHS Trust UK, have said I may not live beyond the next
two months after my next surgery,but before the death of my husband we had
a plan to use the last days of our lives to donate half of what we have
worked for to the less privilege and charity homes and the other half for
ourselves, family members and close friends, and it is so unfortunate that
my husband is not alive today to do this with me and I am very weak with
cancer and coupled with the recent announcement from the doctor, hence I
have decided to do this philanthropic work on behalf of my late husband and
*Presently, I have willed out almost half of our assets to several charity
homes and to some of the less privileged in different countries. Despite
the agreement between my late husband and I to give aid to the deprived, we
also agreed to render support to an individual we have not met before in
life due to the fact when we were still young in life we received an
anonymous help from an individual we did not know and which we have not
been able to know till date, the impact we got from such gesture made us to
*I am sorry to inform you that you will never have the chance to know me
because I have just concluded the assignment which my husband and I have
agreed upon before his sudden death and you happened to be the beneficiary
of our last WILL, irrespective of your previous financial status, hence I
need you to do me a favor by accepting our offer.*
*I have presently instructed my bank manager to assist any person I will
introduce to him as the beneficiary to the last will in the sum of Ten
Million United State Dollars (10,000,000.00) with my bank in Nigeria the
FIRST INLAND BANK NIGERIA PLC. I decided to do this now unconditionally
knowing that my days are numbered.*
*To conclude with this *bequest*, please provide me with your Data to fully
which I will use to write a Letter of Authorization on your behalf and send
it to the bank as my new Next of Kin.*
*Direct telephone number*
*Note: Please I do not want you to thank me, same gesture was shown to us,
all I need you to do is, When you get this fund, use %15 for yourself and
the rest to assist the less privileged in your community and country,this
is the only way to immortalize us when I am gone.*
*Reply me through my Private Email: **email@example.com
*Cancer Centre: Christie Hospital NHS Trust*
*(Manchester, UK) North West of England*