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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- "stay blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Ms.Michelle" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 15:17:16 -0800
Subject: Message From: Ms. Michelle LD
With due respect and out of the ugly situation I am facing presently in Ghana, I am contacting you to see if you can be of help to solve my problem because I sincerely believed that one has to take risk and confide in someone to succeed sometimes in life considering the situation involved.
I am Miss. Michelle Boris the only daughter of late Dr. Fofana Boris from Cote d`Ivoire. My Late Father was a very wealthy cocoa merchant and an Agriculturist in Cote d`Ivoire; His death and that of my mum and my junior brother was masterminded by his only brother during the political crisis in my country Cote d`Ivoire in the years 2010. My late father through his hard work during his life time on earth made a fortune and established many businesses which has now been collected forcefully by his only brother the suspect that arranged the killing of my parents because of properties.
Through my findings before living Cote d`Ivoire I was able to get some personal documents of my late father and some was a fund deposit amounts to the tune of Nineteen Million Four hundred Thousand US Dollars (US$ 19.400.000.00) he deposited with a bank abroad under some conditions which necessitate this communication to you which I cannot handle under my age brackets.
Presently I am residing under political asylum here in Ghana due to multiple attacks from my uncle who wished me dead or to obtain any other documents of my late father that is in my care and the condition of life is very unbearable over here because the war in my country has ended and the Government of Ghana and the UN has called off the refugee immunity and rights for Ivoirians citizens in Ghana under political asylum and I cannot go back to my country to avoid the unexpected from my uncle most reasons I contacted you after much deliberations and prayers.
I am willing to offer you 30% of the total sum as compensation for your EFFORT/INPUT after a successful transfer of the said funds into your Bank account and also for you to assist me relocate over there as soon as the bank transfers the money into your bank account to enable me have my peace and continue my education. Therefore I wish to know your readiness to assist me sincerely over this matter to enable me go further in discussing in details with you and also to enable me send you all vital deposit documents.
Looking forward to your response to this mail: email@example.com
Miss Michelle Boris