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:
- "million united states 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)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dominic Michael" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 20:48:12 -0800
Subject: CRYING FOR HELP FROM HELPLESS CHILDREN.
CRYING FOR HELP FROM HELPLESS CHILDREN.
My names are Dominic Michael and My Sisters Name is Juliet. We lost our both Parents through Motors accident three year ago and since last year my Fathers Brothers has confiscated all my fathers property and because of our age we cannot fight for our right as they have threatened to kill us if we challenged them.
The reason of my emailing you is, my Father deposited the sum of Nine Million United States Dollars ($9,000,000.00) in a private Bank and he made me the next of kin, but due to my age and that of my little Sister we cannot manage the fund, so we needed your assistance to help us claim the fund from the Bank under my legal authorization to enable you invest the fund in your Country for our benefit.
You will help to get us a good School in your Country to enable us Continue our Education immediately the fund get to your Country, while you will invest the fund on our behalf in a profitable business. I will give you every Documents related to the fund which was given to me by my late Father.
I will urge you to respond to this mail to enable me give you all the details you may need for proper clarifications. Rest assured there is no risk involve on this.
God Bless you