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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Marwan Elhoumani." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 12:43:20 +0100
Subject: Assalamu alaikum,
Greeting in the name of Almighty Allah The Most Beneficent The Most
Merciful Please don't be surprise by receiving my message, i am
sending you this mail from my sick bed in the hospital despite my
critical condition But don't worry, All i hope is that you will not
betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you. I
have to thank Allah this moment for his direction as regards this
I am Mrs.MarwanEl Houmani.a Muslim convert from Switzerland I am
married to Late Mr.Amad Houmani, who is a wealthy business man here in
Belgium we were married for many years with out a child before he died
after a brief illness
Before his sudden death we where devoted Muslim When my late husband
was alive he deposited the sum of three Million dollars
($3.000.000.00) in one of the prime bank here in Belgium this money is
still with the Bank,and i am very sick from Kidney cancer that i
may not last till the next two months according to my doctor so i
decided to donate this money to a honest individual who will use it to
work for Allah, orphans, widow and maintenance of mosque to fulfill
vow i and my late husband made to Allah,and i have chosen you
after praying, I want this money to be use as i have said since i do
not have any child to inherit it and our relatives are all unbelievers
and i don't
want our hard earn money to be use in ungodly way you will take 20% of
this fund and use 80% as i stated,the reason for taking this bold
decision I know that after death I will be with Allah the most holy
and the most merciful as soon as i read from you i will give you more
on how to achieve it,i need your urgent reply as i don't know what
tomorrow will result
Your Sister in Islam