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:
- "million 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)
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "remain 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.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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: mary jerry <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Sep 2014 21:27:34 +0100
Subject: Hello My Dear in Christ,
Hello My Dear in Christ,
I am Mrs.Mary Jerry Williams an aging widow suffering from long time
illness. I have some funds I inherited from my late husband, the sum
of 10 Million us Dollars and I needed a very honest and sincere
Individual or cooperate organization that will use the fund for work
of humanity, and because of my old age and i did not have any child
that will inherit the funds ,I found your email address from the Human
resources data base and decided to contact you. Please if you would be
able to use the funds for the work of humanity as i have stated hear
To fulfilled my late husband wishes please , kindly reply me back
through my Private email address for more explanations,
And for your action, please have a contact with our family lawyer so
that he will back you up to secure all the necessary Document and
submit it to the Bank here to enable them process and transfer the
funds to your bank account:
Hon Barrister Akata Koma
Tel: +228 97084123
After reading this message make sure that you get back to me and i
Believe that you will keep this funds well and do as i directed here
in this message as you assured me that you will do this work and have
faith in God reply me.
Thnaks and remain blessed in the Lord Amen,
Mrs. Mary Jerry Williams