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:
- 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:
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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: ELIZABETH WYLIE <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 15 Nov 2021 13:19:02 -0800
Subject: Your Consent/Cooperation!!!
Please I got your contact via searching I made on the Internet.
Greetings from my sincere heart. I have been undergoing treatment for
Cancer. I am writing to you regarding the donation I want to make for
the help of the less privilege people in the society through you
My husband was murdered alongside our only son by those who are
envious of his position in the same office. Before his death he made a
vow to use his wealth for the down trodden, orphanages and the less
privileged in the society.
Having known my critical condition I decided to donate this fund to an
individual or better still a God fearing person like you who will
utilize this money the way I am going to instruct here in. I am
seriously down by the cancer.
I will officially hand you over this money before I die, why because
if I die the bank will just use the money for their selfish interest
while the poor less privilege will be in sorrow out there, if this
happen my spirit will not be at rest if I die. Please understand my
What is required of you is your honest, trust and sincerity.
I will like to speak with you on phone, can you provide your direct number?.
PLEASE REPLY TO MY PERSONAL EMAIL..( email@example.com )
My Regards To You And Your Family.
Thanks With Deep Love & Gratitude.