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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Juliana Anne Donald" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 12 Dec 2014 12:45:27 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: ALL I NEED IS YOUR SINCERITY.
Â Dear Friend,
My name is Mrs. Juliana Anne Donald, I am a 56 year old woman. I have been suffering from ovarian cancer disease here at Suka Clinic and sadly, the doctor says I have just a short period to live.
I am from the USA but I have been living in Burkina Faso for the past eleven years as a business woman dealing with cotton exportation but now that I am about to end the race of life with no child to WILL my floating assets.
I have $8.3Million US Dollars with the ECO BANK PLC in Burkina Faso and I want you to apply to the bank so that they can transfer the money to your account, and my wish is for you to use it to help the less privilege people in your country but you must assure me that you will take only 40% of the total money as your own and give the rest 60% to the CHARITY Organization and Orphanage homes in your country for my heart to rest.
Upon receipt of your email, indicating that you are willing and capable to execute my plans in sincerity, I will instruct the Eco Bank PLC to transfer the fund to your bank account as my next of kin.
Mrs. Juliana Anne Donald.