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:
- 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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Erica Nomani <email@example.com>
Reply-To: Erica Nomani <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 13 Oct 2018 11:40:12 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Greetings from Miss Erica Nomani.
Greetings from Miss Erica Nomani.
I am Miss. Erica Nomani a 23 years old deaf and dumb and the only daughter/child of my late parents Mr. and Mrs. Kadous Nomani. My late father was a highly reputable business man here in my country Lome Togo(A COCOA TIMBER DEALER) who operated in the Economic capital of (West African Islands) during his days. I am 23 years old now and I was born deaf and dumb. My mother died when I was just 9 years old and since then my father has been taking care of me and took me so special as his only child. My father died in a hospital here on 11th June 2017 after few days illness. Before he gave the ghost on that 11th June 2017, (may his gentle soul rest in perfect peace) he secretly called me on his sick bed and disclose to me that there is this sum of U$20,500,000,00(Twenty Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars)that he left in my name as the next of kin, that if in case he did not survive the situation that I should seek for a help of a trustworthy foreign partner from any country of my choice who I will transfer the money to his or her account and the person will help me come over his or her country after the transfer of the fund to start new life and further my studies and also help me in investing the money in a lucrative business.
My dear, I need your assistant as much now because my uncles being my father's immediate brothers has taken over everything that my father acquired based on this selfish old tradition of my country that if a man dies without a male child that his properties will be shared among his brothers, even if the man has 10 female children no one cares about them since there is no male child among them. My uncles has humiliated and frustrated my life without pity by taking all that my late father left even trying to pursued me from the house that my late father built with his money. Thank God they are not aware of this U$20,500,000,00 because I know that they could kill me if they finds out that there is such huge amount in my name. For this reason, as they says THE EARLIER THE BETTER, I have ran out of our village to another village far from ours in order to save my life and for them not to know my way about. Now I have decided to contact you for your kind assistance to get this money transferred to your account in your country and after the transfer of the fund to your account you will help me come over your country to start new life and further my studies while you invest the money in a lucrative business of your choice.
I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards, I wish to invest under your care please. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded, but permit me to ask these few questions:
1. Can you honestly help me as you would do to your own relation?
2. Can I completely trust you as a reliable person? .
3. What percentage of the total amount in question will be good for you
after the money has been transferred into your account?
Please your positive response is highly expected.
MIss. Erica Nomani