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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "god-fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Vina Decubo <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 17 Nov 2021 10:31:29 +0200
I am Vina Decubo, the wife of Late Mike Decubo, my husband worked with
Chevron/Texaco in South Africa for twenty years before he died. We were
married for Fifteen years without a child. My Husband died after a brief
illness that lasted for only four days. Before his death we both got
born-again and as dedicated Christians. Since his death I decided not to
re-marry or get a child outside my matrimonial home which the Bible is
strongly against, when my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of
$3,500,000 three million five hundred thousand united states dollars for
safe keeping in the bank. Presently, I am in a hospital where I have been
undergoing treatment for esophageal cancer, I have since lost my ability to
talk and my doctors have told me that I have only a few months to live. It
is my last wish to see this money distributed to charity organizations
anywhere in the World. Because relatives and friends have plundered so much
of my wealth since my illness, I cannot live with the agony of entrusting
this huge responsibility to any of them. I have wholeheartedly decided to
donate the entirety of this fund to any sincere person, hence my decision
as I do not have a child to take over my inheritance. Please, I beg you in
the name of God to help me Stand-in as the beneficiary and collect the
Funds from the Bank for its purposes. I want a person that is God-fearing
who will use this money to fund churches, orphanages and widows propagating
the word of God and to ensure that the house of God is maintained. The
Bible made us to understand that "blessed is the hand that giveth" I took
this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit this money
and my husbandâs relatives are not Christians nor dedicated Moslems and I
don't want my husband's hard earned money to be misused by unbelievers. I
don't want a situation where this money will be used in an ungodly manner.
Hence the reason for taking this bold decision.
With God all things are possible.
Thank and Regards,