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:
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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: "Mrs. Angela Benjamin " <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 19:05:27 +0800
Subject: Can you receive and manage this fund ?
I don't want you to feel sorry for me, because, I Believe Everyone will di=
e someday. My name is Mrs. Angela Benjamin ,I have been diagnosed with esop=
I want God to be merciful to me and accept my soul so, I have decided to g=
ive alms to charity organizations, as I want this to be one of the last goo=
d deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity org=
anizations in the Oman, Yemen and Syria. Now that my health has deteriorate=
d so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore.
I once asked members of my husband family to close one of my accounts and =
distribute the money which I have there to charity organization in Bulgaria=
and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to
Themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be con=
tended with what I have left for them. The last of my money which no one kn=
ows of is the huge cash deposit of united state dollars $3,243,728.00 US Do=
llars ( Three Million, Two Hundred and Forty Three Thousand, Seven Hundred =
and Twenty Eight United States Dollars) which is been deposited with a bank =
I will want you to dispatch it to charity organizations if only you will b=
e sincere. Get back to me if you are interested in carrying out this task, =
so that he can arrange the release of the funds to you.
Mrs. Angela Benjamin=20