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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "% will be for you" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2015 23:47:45 -0800
Subject: PLEASE I URGENTLY NEED YOUR ATTENTION
I am contacting you with tears in my eyes to assist me, Please do Find time to Read my message below and take your time to view my biography and pictures through the website below this letter.
My name is Mrs Katie McGrath, i am from Dublin Ireland, I am a sick widowed suffering from cancer for so many years now.
>From all indication my condition is deteriorating and its quite obvious that i might not live long, because the cancer stage is now very severe. as the doctor have said.
My husband Mr Nolan McGrath died some years back and my only daughter died in the London BOMB ATTACK.
I have suffered a lot of pains in this sickness and so much loneliness, in this condition and i will not wish same for anyone that i know, that is why i want to help in charity work for humanitarian service with my money i inherited and make through my career.
My late husband was a very wealthy oil merchant and after his death, i inherited the sum of $14.5M (Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) which i have managed all these while before i became sick and diagnose for cancer.
This fund $14.5M (Fourteen Million Five Hundred Thousand United State Dollars) is deposit with a Finance Company.
I am contacting you with regard to my last wish on charity work for humanitarian service, i want 30% of the Fund use to open a foundation for Cancer in my name and 30% for motherless babies less privilege and homeless in EUROPE, AMERICA, ASIA AND MIDDLE EAST and 40% will be for you because of your help and any other process you might undergo in caring out my wish.
Please i seek your utmost trust to help me accomplish this wish on charity work for humanitarian service, please if you know that you will not do as i have wished as stated above do not reply back to me because i believe in respect and humanity remember GOD is watching us and he will judge everyone according to his/her work. i also want you to remember that every thing on earth is vanity upon vanity, what matters most is how much people we can help while on earth. i need your help on this project.
Here is my pictures and biography link through this website below:
Reply back if you sincerely wish to assist with this project through my personal email:
Please let me trust you.
Mrs Katie McGrath.