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.
- 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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" 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: "Mr. McMacus Gavril," (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 11 Mar 2016 00:31:26 +0100
Subject: Re: Good evening,
House Address: 144 Walworth Rd,
London SE17 1JL, U.K.
Contact E-mail Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Dearest Friend.
Greetings to you and your family as this letter may come to you as a surprise due to the fact that we have not yet met, But I got your details from GOOGLE search and I prayed hard to GOD to direct me to the rightful person who will be able to handle this project with trust and honesty, and my heart went for you because you are not a jobless person,
I have to say this, I have no intention of harming you in any way. As you read this, your pity is not required but your assistance because I believe everyone will die someday. My name is McMacus Gavril ; I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer (T4-N1-Mx Esophageal Cancer) that was discovered very late due to my laxity in caring for my health. Medications and surgeries are no longer an option, I have only about a few months to live according to medical experts. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone not even myself but business in the past.
Though I am very rich and wealthy, I was never too generous as I would have loved to be, I was too hostile to people now that I think about it and only focus on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. I believe if God gives me a second chance to live in this world again, I would live my life a different way from how I have lived it. Now that I know my time is near, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members and as well as a few close friends.
I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in Africa, Philippines, London and Ireland. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly and poorly,I need assistance from someone who will assist me in getting this project done successfully. I don't care about your status or religion, I cannot do this alone any more. I once asked members of my family to close one of my accounts in Bulgaria and donate the money by distribution to charity homes and organizations, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contended with what I have left for them.
The last of my money which is a huge cash deposit I have with a financial institute abroad, I will want you to help me or rather assist me to collect this deposit and dispatched it to charity organizations. I am writing this from my laptop computer in my bedroom where I wait for my time to come. I pray that God uses you to support and assist me with good heart.
Most importantly, I will need you to promise to keep whatever you learn from me between us and Thanks for your understanding and I hope to hear from you soon. Have a nice day.
Mr. McMacus Gavril,
N.B: Please if you are interested and you need more details concerning what I said and to contact me please quickly click on my E-mail Address: email@example.com