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:
- 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)
- This email message is a "dying widow" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Doris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 07:02:15 -0700
Subject: Greetings Dear have a blessed day.
My Name is Mrs.Doris. I know that this message will be a surprise to
you. Firstly, I am married to Mr. Williams Moor, A gold merchant who owns a
small gold Mine in UNITED STATES; He died of Cardiovascular Disease in
mid-March 2016. During his life time he deposited the sum of ($4,000,000.00,
Four Million Dollars) with my name as the legal rightful appointed
beneficiary to the fund in a Bank in UNITED STATES . 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 in which I sleep every night without
knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I am suffering from long
term cancer 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 husband for over 19 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
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 I
will give you more information on how the fund will be transferred to your