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:
- "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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "MRS. SAVANNAH KANE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 12:58:26 +0100
Subject: I NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE
May this letter find you in good faith and may you receive this letter
with peace of mind and with due respect as it may be very strange to
you as we have not communicated or know each other before. My present
condition is very desperate and that is why I decided to contact you
through this means to come to my aid.
My name is Mrs.Savannah Kane from France but I am married to late
Mr.Hans Kane from Cote d Ivoire We were married for 20 years and had
only one Son called Stanley. My husband died after a brief illness
that lasted for two years. Since his death I decided not to re-marry
or get a child outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was
alive he deposited this $8.6 Million Dollars in a bank for foreign
investment. Presently this money is still in the bank.
I am undergoing a medical treatment ,I have cancer, recently my doctor
are trying but the sickness are getting worst. Having known my
condition I decided to contact you through email to help me invest the
money in your country on behalf of my Son Stanley. You will take care
of my son and will help him continue with his education once he
arrives your country to meet you.
What pains me so much is that my late husband relatives seized his
company immediately after the death of my husband and nothing was left
for me and my Son. I am here with my laptop computer and I don't need
any telephone communication in this regard due to the presence of my
late husband relatives around me. I don't want them to know about this
As soon as I receive your reply , I shall give you more information on
what you should do to receive the money to your bank account for the
Hoping to receive your reply.
From Mrs.Savannah Kane