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:
- "million 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.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Victoria Brown" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 2 Oct 2013 04:20:25 -0500 (PET)
Subject: Greetings to You from Mrs Victoria Brown.
Greetings to You from Mrs Victoria Brown.
I want to begin by thanking God almighty for his infinite mercy and his
grace opportunity to meet through this medium,i know you will be surprise
to see this letter but i use this medium because it is the easiest and
fast way to reach you.Please pardon me if this letter did not meet you in
your good mode and treat it with utmost confident and secrecy.
I am Mrs Victoria Brown From Republic Du Benin married with Late Dr
Leonard Brown both of us where devoted Christians and work as Government
functionaries here in Benin Republic.I am looking for a reliable
Christian person or organization or Church i will entrust $5.5 million
dollars for spreading of Christianity and helping of poor people in the
society due to my health condition.I was a cancer woman but what pains me
now was the recent stroke.
I take this bold decision because i did not have any child for my husband
and my husband relatives where Muslim ,they have squandered my husband
wealth and properties even throw me out of my husbands house due to
fetish religion that i have no child that will inherit those things.
So my dear beloved in the lord,i am contacting you so that you will use
this money which my husband deposited before he died in the year 2001
because the bank has called me for this money and i want it to be used in
spreading Christianity and help poor people around.
If you know that you will not betray this trust i am about to give you now
please reply me back to have the authorization from me to receive this
money so that you will use it accordingly as i above instructed.
Waiting your reply through my private email address
(email@example.com) in good faith and may the almighty God give you
more inspiration on this and be bless.Here is my directly telephone number
+229 97 53 74 26 you can reach me for more discussion.
Mrs Victoria Brown