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:
- 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)
- "cotonou" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: jenifer more <email@example.com>
Reply-To: jenifer more <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 18 Dec 2014 03:33:54 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: DEAREST BELOVED IN CHRIST PLEASE BE HONEST
Â DEAREST ONE PLEASE BE HONEST.
my name is mrs jenifer moore I am 48years old from benin(cotonou)a widow woman.I live in u.s.a, for many years but corrently in a private hospital in republic du benin due to the breast cancer problem I have,and beside i have no children.
as I lay on my sick bed here in hospitalized benin,I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul and so I have decided to give arms to charity organizations and give succor and comfort to the less privileged and motherless babies, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth, I have 4.7 Million dollars in the Vault of a Financial company, I want you to collect this deposit on my behalf as my next of kins and disburse it to the factory collapse victimsÂ in Asia, magnitude earthquake in East Texas, earthquake disaster in Kepulauan Barat Daya Indonesia, for the less privileged and other countries that are in need.how ever bellow is my private email email@example.com,
I will set aside 40% for you for your time and efforts.
I wish to hear from you soon.
God bless you,