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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Elizabeth Michael <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 19 Sep 2014 12:13:54 +0000
Subject: Help Me
>From Ms Elizabeth Michael
Hello Dearest, I am Introducing Myself
as Ms. Elizabeth Michael, the only Daughter of late Mr & Mrs Nicolas
I' Michael, I wish to request for your assistance in a financial
I got your contact from a site which you are a
member and i decided to contact you in this regards, And I wish to
invest in Agricultural Farming , Manufacturing and real estate
management in your country.
I have EURO 4,700,000(Four Million
Seven hundred thousand Euros) to invest in your country, and I will
require your assistance in receiving the funds in your personal/company
account for investment, I will be glad to give you 25% of the total sum
for your assistance once the money get's to your account in your
please it is very important you contact me immediately
for further explanation on how we will proceed. Awaiting your immediate
response Thanks and God bless for your kind understanding.Please contact
me here on my private email at (email@example.com)
Ms. Elizabeth Michael