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:
- ",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)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Bill Gates <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 8 Jun 2016 10:39:06 +0100
Subject: From 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.
You see after taken care of the needs of our immediate family
members, Before we die 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
self for the remaining days because i am no longer strong am
sick and am writing you from hospital computer.and me and my
wife will be traveling to
Germany for Treatment.
To facilitate the payment process of the funds ($5,000,000.00
USD) which have been donated solely to you, you are to send
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
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