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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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.
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
- This email lists free webmail addresses. Use of such addresses is typical for scams. Lotteries, banks and any but the smallest of companies do not normally use such addresses. Criminals use them to anonymously send and receive email at Internet cafes.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: ANNA BRUUN <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 19 May 2022 15:35:50 +0100
Subject: AM WAITING FOR YOUR RESPONSE;
My Name is Mrs. Anna H. Bruun, from Norway. I know that this message will
be a surprise to you. Firstly, I am married to Mr. Patrick Bruun, A gold
merchant who owns a small gold Mine in Burkina Faso; He died of
Cardiovascular Disease in mid-March 2011. During his life time 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 husband by his company.
I am sending this message to you praying that it will reach you in good
health, since I am not in good health condition in which I sleep every
night without knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I am
suffering from long time cancer and presently i am partially suffering from
illness which has become almost impossible for me to move around. I am
married to my late husband for over 4 years before he died and is
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
of cancer for about 2 years ago. I have been touched by God Almighty to
donate from what I have inherited from my late husband to you for 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 husband and my name; I need
your urgent answer to know if you will be able to execute this project, and
will give you more information on how the fund will be transferred to your
contact me on my private email adress (email@example.com)
Mrs. Anna H.