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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- ",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 of america" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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: "Miss Ruth Shing" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 06:13:21 -0800
Subject: Miss Ruth Shing
I'm Miss Ruth Shing 18 years old. My father was a very wealthy oil merchant and businessman in United State of America (U.S.A). MY father was poisoned to death by his brothers because they want to take over his properties and wealth.
My father left the sum of USD$6,500,000 (Six million, Five hundred thousand dollars) in a fixed/suspense account for me which i want you to stand as my trustee to claim this from the bank so that i will come over to your country to further my education in your care.
Hoping to receive your response immediately with your full contact information as follow:
1.Full Name .....
2.Residential address .....
3.Private Phone No .....
6.Country of Origin .....
Contact I on my email address for more details.
Thanks and God bless.
Miss Ruth Shing.
the reply to email email@example.com