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:
- "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: ELLA LINDA <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Mar 2023 08:38:16 +0000
I sent this mail praying it will find you in a good condition, since I
myself am in a very critical health condition in which I sleep every
night without knowing if I may be alive to see the next day. I am Mrs
Ella Linda, a widow suffering from a long time illness. I have some
funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum of ($4,000,000.00,
Four Million Dollars) my Doctor told me recently that I have serious
sickness which is a cancer problem. What disturbs me most is my stroke
Having known my condition, I decided to donate this fund to a good
person that will utilize it the way I am going to instruct herein. I
need a very honest God.
fearing a person who can claim this money and use it for Charity
works, for orphanages, widows and also build schools for less
privileges that will be named after my late husband if possible and to
promote the word of God and the effort that the house of God is
maintained. I do not want a situation where this money will be used in
an ungodly manner. That's why I'm taking this decision. I'm not afraid
of death so I know where I'm going. I accept this decision because I
do not have any child who will inherit this money after I die. Please
I want your sincere and 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 bank account.
May God Bless you,
Mrs Ella Linda