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 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: garta irene <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: garta irene <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 23 Jan 2013 07:05:17 -0800 (PST)
Subject: FROM GARTA URGENT RESPONSE
Pardon me for contacting you through this media. But please I am in desperate
need of your assistance; My Name is GARTA IRENE, the wife of Mr. Raul Dela
IRENE Mayor of Rizal in Cagayan Province. Who was recently killed in the
Philippine by gunmen on 4th December 2010?
Well during the threat on my late husband life, he gave me the total sum of
US$8,500.000 (eight million five hundred thousand united states dollars) and
asks me to put it in a metallic box. Then deposit it in a security and finance
company abroad just in case anything ever happen to him.
I did deposit the total sum as he gave it to me under a secret arrangement as a
family valuable. This means that the security company does not know the content
of this metallic box.
Since the death of my late husband, the Philippine state government has blocked
me and my late husband accounts through the help of my late husband family.
Also my late husband brothers have succeeded in collecting from me all our
properties that is under my control and they are still looking for more.
Therefore I am contacting you to help me secure the sum which I explain to you
above, for the future of my kids. Since my late husband family made it
impossible for me to move out of my late husband house in Philippine
Please do tell me if I can trust you as who will not sit on this money when you
claim it. I am willing to give you 20% of the total sum in that box after you
have successfully secured it. For safety reasons so that I can come over to
meet you there in your country for you to help me invest the money in a good
i will like to hear from you immediately so that i will know if i can trust you
with all my heart and if you are capable so that i can send you my pictures and
my international passport and all the documents so that you will understand