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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "death certificate" (this phrase is often used in inheritance scams such as next of kin or https://www.419scam.org/419-murdered-businessman.htm">orphan scams. )
- 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 (Yahoo; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Anita Green <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 4 Jul 2016 02:15:11 +0100
Subject: PLEASE HELP ME REGAIN MY FREEDOM
* How are you doing this beautiful day! I hope all is well with you,
Friendship can not be measured in terms of material value, nor can it be
explained through our use of language, it is a thing that is felt deep
within the heart, where no words can ever come close to the truth.*
* I want to use this opportunity to brief you little about myself, My Name
is Anita Green, I am single, 17 years old, born in West Indies .I have a
nice family which I lost doing the war that took place my in country some
*The rebels attacked our house one early morning and killed my parents in a
cold blood. It's was only me and my little sister that survive this tragedy
because I wasn't around when it happened. I was a first year student then,
I went to School when the incident happened and I managed to run to the
refugee camp where I'm presently seeking asylum in the Refugee here,
because the evil men that killed my parents seize to kill and take away my
*This refugee camp is just like one staying in the prison and I hope by
Gods grace I will come out here soon, I don't have any relatives now whom I
can go to, all our relatives ran away in the middle of the war the only
person I have now is Rev. Mark, who is the pastor of the (United Christian
Center) here in the camp, he has been very nice to me since I came here
but I am not living with him rather I am leaving in the woman's hostel
because the camp have two hostels one for men the other for women.*
* I have my late father's deposit certificate and death certificate here
with me which I will send to you later, because when he was alive he
deposited some amount of money in a leading Sun Trust bank New York USA
which he used my name as the next of kin, the amount in question is $27.5
Million ,(Four Million Five hundred thousand dollars) .I decided to
contact you hoping that with your advanced knowledge we can be able to work
together, so that if all things works out for us, we can go into investment
in your peaceful country. Though it took me time to make up my mind to
* Moreover I contacted the Sun Trust bank where this fund is deposited for
them to advise me on what to do in order to have access to my late father's
property, the legal department of the bank told me that in a situations
like mine, that the best solution is by soliciting for assistance of a
reliable foreigner/guardian who is trustworthy and faithful and who can
assist me claim and receive the fund on my behalf.*
*So I will like you to help me transfer this money to your account and from
it you can send me some money for me to get my traveling documents and air
ticket to come over to meet with you in your country if you wish.*
*I kept this secret from people in the camp here the only person that knows
about it is the Reverend Mark, because he is like a father to me here.*
*So in the light of above I will like you to keep it to yourself and don't
tell it to anyone for I am afraid of loosing my life and the money if
people get to know about it.*
*Pleased treat this as very urgent so that I will forward you contact
information to the Sun Trust bank for you to contact them. REPLY ME TO
* Waiting to hear from you soonest.*
* Anita Green.*