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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Charles Patrick" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 25 Feb 2022 06:40:13 -0800
My Dear Friend,
My Name is Mr.Charles Patrick Beal; I am from the United States of America.
I know that this message will be a surprise to you. Firstly, I am married
to Mrs.lilian Beal, A gold merchant who owns a small gold Mine in Syria;
she died of Cardiovascular Disease in mid-March 2011. During his lifetime
he deposited the sum of â¬ 8.5 Million Euro) Eight million, Five hundred
thousand Euros in a bank in Ouagadougou the capital city of Burkina Faso in
West Africa. The deposited money was from the sale of the shares, death
benefits payment and entitlements of my deceased wife by her company.
I am sending this message to you praying that it will reach you in good
health, since I am not in good health in which I sleep every night without
knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I
have been suffering from cancer for a long time and presently I am
partially suffering from a stroke illness which has become almost
impossible for me to move around. I was married to my late wife for over 4
years before he died and unfortunately that we don't have a child, my
doctor confided in me that i have less chance to live. Having known my
health condition, I decided to contact you to claim the fund since I don't
have any relation; I grew up from the orphanage home,
I have decided to donate what I have to you for the support of helping
Motherless babies/Less privileged/Widows' because I am dying and diagnosed
with cancer about 2 years ago. I have been touched by God Almighty to
donate from what I have inherited from my late wife to you for the good
work of God Almighty. I have asked Almighty God to forgive me and believe
he has, because He is a Merciful God, I will be going in for an operation
This is the reason I need your services to stand as my next of kin or an
executor to claim the funds for charity purposes. If this money remains
unclaimed after my death, the bank executives or the government will take
the money as unclaimed fund and maybe use it for selfish and worthless
ventures, I need a very honest person who can claim this money and use it
for Charity works, for orphanages, widows and also build schools for less
privilege that will be named after my late wife and my name; I need your
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