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:
- 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 "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: =?UTF-8?Q?Gr=C3=A2ce_Smarsh?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 30 Nov 2021 10:16:56 +0100
Subject: MY GREETINGS TO YOU
Assist Request From You,
This letter might be a surprise to you, But I believe that you will be
honest to fulfil my final wish. I bring peace and love to you. It is by the
grace of God, I had no choice than to do what is lawful and right in the
sight of God for eternal life and in the sight of man to witness God's
mercy and glory upon mey life. My dear, I sent this mail praying it will
find you in a good condition, since I myself am in a very critical health
condition in which I sleep every night without knowing if I may be alive to
see the next day. I am Mrs GrÃ¢ce Smarsh, a widow suffering from a long
illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of US$
8.5m (Eight Million Five hundred Thousand Dollars) my Doctor told me
recently that I have serious sickness which is a cancer problem. What
disturbs me most is my stroke sickness. Having known my condition, I
decided to donate this fund to a good person that will utilize it the way I
am going to instruct herein. I need a very honest and God fearing person
who can claim this money and use it for Charity works, for orphanages and
gives justice and help to the poor, needy and widows and also build schools
for less privilege that will be named after my late husband if possible and
to promote the word of God and the effort that the house of god is
I do not want the bank to sit on the money. I also don't want a situation
where this money will be used in an ungodly manner. That's why I'm making
this decision. I'm not afraid of death, so I know where I'm going. I accept
this decision because I do not have any child who will inherit this money
after I die. Please I want your sincere and urgent answer to know if you
will be able to execute this project, and I will give you more information
on how the fund will be transferred to your bank account. May the grace,
peace, love and the truth in the Word of God be with you and all those that
you love and care for, I am waiting for your reply to my email via
Mrs GrÃ¢ce Smarsh