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 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 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: Sandra James <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 20 Nov 2021 11:14:34 -0700
Subject: GREETINGS IN THE NAME OF OUR LORD JESUS!!!
GREETINGS IN JESUS NAME!!!
I donât want you to feel sorry for me, because I Believe Everyone will
die someday. My name is Mrs.Sandral James from the United States, I'm
a widow suffering from Breast Cancer and Stroke, which denied me a
child, and as a result of that, I may not last till the next two
months according to my doctor report. I'm married to late Pastor
Anthony James, and we were married for many years without any child
before his death. I'm 68 years old woman. I have some funds which I
inherited from my late husband the sum of (5.8 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 God's work, donation in the house
of God, like propagating the good news of God and help
less-privileged. I found your profile and I decided to contact you. I
have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to
be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have
distributed money to some charity organizations in the Oman, Algeria
and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot
do this myself anymore.
Ecclesiastes 6, verses 1 & 2.Read this scripture and you will
understand that there are 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. He obeyed and God made him the father of many nations.
Please if you would be able to use this funds for the work of God as I
stated contact me back as urgent so that I will lead you to Ally Bank
Financial Inc USA, where this fund was deposited by my late husband
for you to retrieve the funds in your name as the next of kin. Reply
to Email: email@example.com
Mrs Sandra James