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:
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "BILL GATES DONATIONS" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 5 Apr 2016 09:57:38 -0600
Subject: Greetings to you from Bill Gates & Melinda Gates
Greetings to You
You have been gifted $5 MILLION USD From Mr Bill Gates. Contact me at this email for your claim: email@example.com
I hope this information meet you well as I know you will be curious to know why/how I selected you to receive a sum of $5,000,000,00 USD, our information below is 100% legitimate, please see the link below:
I BILL GATES and my wife decided to donate the sum of $5,000,000,00 USD to you as part of our charity project to improve the 10 lucky individuals all over the world from our $65 Billion Usd I and My Wife Mapped out to help people. We prayed and searched over the internet for assistance and i saw your profile on Microsoft email owners list and picked you. Melinda my wife and i have decided to make sure this is put on the internet for the world to see. as you could see from the webpage above,am not getting any younger and you can imagine having no much time to live. although am a Billionaire investor and we have helped some charity organizations from our Fund.
After taken care of the needs of our immediate family members, Before death we decided to donate the remaining of our Billions to other individuals around the world in need, the local fire department, the red cross, Haiti, hospitals in truro where Melinda underwent her cancer treatment, and some other organizations in Asia and Europe that fight cancer, alzheimer's and diabetes and the bulk of the funds deposited with our payout bank of this charity donation. We have kept just 30% of the entire sum to our selves since i am sick and am writing to you from hospital, and my wife will be travelling to Germany for Treatment too.
To facilitate the payment process of ($5,000,000.00 USD) you are to send us
your full names:
your contact address:
your personal telephone number:
so that i can forward your payment information to you immediately. I am hoping that you will be able to use the money wisely and judiciously over there in your City. please you have to do your part to also alleviate the level of poverty in your region, help as many you can help once you have this money in your personal account because that is the only objective of donating this money to you in the first place.
Thank you for accepting our offer, we are indeed grateful You Can Google my name for more information: Mr Bill Gates or Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Mr Bill Gates.