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:
- 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs. Susan Wilcott <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 05 Jan 2022 08:31:42 -0800
Subject: Complement of the season
Hello beloved friend, It is my pleasure to see your Email on the
world business/jobs and email portals.
My name is Mrs.Susan Wilcott from Romania . I am married to Mr.
Rodney Wilcott, who was an investor here in Edinbough for many
years before he died in 2014. We were married for Twelve years
without a child. He died after a brief illness that lasted few
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
a total sum of $5,000,000.00 Dollars (Five Million Dollars) with
a bank in London, United Kingdom.
Presently, this fund is still under the safe keeping of the Bank
in London. Not quite long, i develoved cancer desease and my
Doctor told me that I would not last for the next seven months
due to the nature of my illness. Though what disturbs me most is
Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to
Mosque or church or better still an individual that will utilize
this money the way I am going to instruct. I want a God fearing
individual that will use this fund for charity purposes and give
help to mankind.
I took this bold decision because I don't have any child that
will inherit this money and my husband relatives are not good
people, 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.
Please i want you to contact my lawyer on email for procedures:
Name: Bar. Sahil Mayan
Phone number:+44 7897047811 (Whatsapp)
Email : email@example.com
Dominion & Ivory Associates
800 Lea Bridge Road,London
He will help you to perfect the legal rudiments involved in the
change of ownership. Please contact him immediately.
I have delegated all my duties to my attorney because of my ill-
health.Please contact and cooperate with my attorney in order to
facilitate the change of ownership in your favor.
My happiness is that I lived a life of a worthy Good woman.
Whoever that wants to serve the Lord must serve him in spirit and
truth. Please always be prayerful all through your life. Any
delay in contacting my lawyer will give me room in sourcing for
another individual for this same purpose. Please assure me that
you will act accordingly as I stated here. Hoping to hear from
you as soon as possible.
Remain blessed in the name of the Lord.
Mrs Susan Wilcot