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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Janet Carson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 05:09:48 +0100
Subject: I Wait For Your Reply
My Dear Friend,
I am a dying woman who had decided to donate what I have to Charities,
rather than allow his relatives to use my husband's hard earned funds for
I was diagnosed for cancer about two years ago immediately after the death
of my husband. My last wish on earth which will be very profitable to you.
I want to donate this $5.5million to you which I want you to distribute
part of it to any charity home.
For your kindness on this work you are to carry out, I am offering you 15%
while 85% of the fund will go to any Charity organizations, Mosque, or
Churches of your choice for me. Please I am looking forward to hearing from
you, so I can give you more details.