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)
- "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 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Melda Jeff <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 26 Dec 2021 15:14:16 +0100
Subject: Very Urgent
My name is Melda Jeff, from Jakarta -Indonesia but my late husband is from
Cambridge and we both lived in Leicester city, United Kingdom before my
husband died on November 20, 2019.
However, I have been struggling with cancer for a long time and my doctor
said that the present stage is uncontrollable and I have just a few months
more to live.
Meanwhile, My late husband was very successful and a very hard working Man,
he worked on some Projects with five French speaking Countries (France,
Luxembourg, Madagascar, Rwanda and Seychelles) Before his death. The total
worth of this project was (Five million, Seven Hundred Thousand dollars
Only,) but so sad death took him away in the last two years.
My beloved late husband was a philanthropist before his death and he also
encouraged me to continue in his vision to help the poor and the less
privileged because since we got married, we have not been able to have any
Due to the critical condition of my health now, I have sent (Two million
dollars to the Orphanage homes in my home town in Indonesia and my
husband's town in the UK. I have also deposited the sum 700,000 dollars to
the hospital here for my medications.
I am looking for a good and trustworthy person that can help me carry out
this project, someone who can take this project very seriously. I wanted to
do it by myself but my present condition cannot allow me because I cannot
stand on my own without an Anchorage or support by the doctors or nurses
that is the main reason why I'm contacting you, I would like to send the
remaining (US$3,000000)to you so that you will help me to share it to the
poor, orphanages, and the widows over there in your country and neighboring
countries too during this pandemic as instructed by my late husband because
we did not have any child to inherit this money. Please do not discriminate
on religion, race, ethnicity when handling this project.
May God bless you and your family, looking forward to reading from you for