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:
- "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)
- "god fearing " (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: Daniel Amah <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 14 Apr 2016 08:42:12 +0200
Subject: From Mrs. Melinda Cruz Business Proposal
>From Mrs. Melinda Cruz Business Proposal
Charitable Donation From Mrs. Melinda Cruz.
in the name of the LORD Almighty the giver of every good thing. I know
this proposal will definitely come to you as a huge surprise, but I
implore you to take your time to go through it carefully as the decision
you make will go a long way to determine my future. I am Mrs. Melinda
Cruz an ageing widow of 41 years old suffering from long time illness
breast Cancer and Cancer of the lungs.
I have some funds which I
inherited from my late husband, the sum of USD $ 2 million dollars and I
needed a very honest and God fearing person who can receive this funds
for Charity works.
Please if you would be able to use the funds
for the Charity works please kindly let me know immediately. Please
kindly respond quickly for further details if you can handle this task.
Please Reply me with this E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Regards, Mrs. Melinda Cruz.