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:
- "huge amount of money" (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)
- "monrovia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: mariam sari <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 20 Nov 2014 11:53:37 +0000
Subject: May this season brings you the long lasting Happiness and Success.
May this season brings you the long lasting Happiness and Success.
hope this email finds you in good health, My name is Mariam
Anthony 23 years old female, I am from Liberia Republic. My parents
died on 17th June 2014 as a result of Ebola virus Epidemic disease in
the capital of Liberia Monrovia city. My late father Dr. Anthony Badi
who was a highly reputable businessman that owned (a gold merchant) who
operated in the capital City of Liberia during his days. Before the
sudden death of my father in a hospital, he called me secretly to his
bed side and told me that he deposited the sum of $ 2,870,000.00 In The
Royal Bank. He told me that he used my name as the next of kin to the
deposit. My father told me to look for a foreign partner in a country of
my choice where I will transfer the money and use it for investment
purposes for the betterment of my future. My father told me that I
should not let any of our relative to know about this money because
of their wickedness. That is why i have contacted you to partner with me
to transfer this money into your position, so that i will come to meet
you in your country after the bank transfer the money into your
account. I am the only survival of my late parents, i have no brother
nor sister at present, all our relatives ran away to different
countries because of the Ebola epidemic disease.
I was so
lucky enough to escaped this epidemic disease in our country Liberia
because, i was in boarding school studying in Benin Republic when the
incident occurred, it was through phone calls that i heard of the Ebola
outbreak in Liberia before i traveled back to Liberia with Ebola
protection to see my parents. I am back to Benin Republic now and i am
staying with a Missionary sister in The Fountain Of Life missionaries
home care Cotonou, Benin Republic, my condition now is not good because i
don't have anybody to help me, if you feel like to assist me ,then
you mail me back, so that I will forward you my photos and Introduce
myself to you more, So from there we will get to know each other very
well. however i want you to bear in mind that there is only one
happiness in life, to love and be loved. i really need your help to get
this money transferred under your care so that i will relocate from
here to your country. I will present you to the bank as my Foreign
partner and instruct them to transfer the money into your account to
enable me come over to your country and plan my life with you because i
am still very young to handle such huge amount of money, so i need your
help you will also help me to invest the money in a very good business
in your country, i will be waiting to hear from you as soon as possible.
Your lovely Mariam