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.
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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:
- "inheritance funds" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Monique Toure <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 06 Jun 2017 20:13:50 +0300
Subject: My Beloved One Greetings.
Thanks for your attention and I pray that my decision to contact you
will be given genuine approval. My name is Miss Monique Toure and i
humbly write to solicit for your partnership and assistance in the
transfer and investment of my inheritance funds $6,500,000.00 from my
late father who died mysteriously.
My late father was poisoned to death by my wicked uncle during his
visit to south Africa where he has his cocoa and coffee company. I am
the only child and daughter of my parents and I lost my mother when I
was barely a year. After the death of my mother, my father refused to
re-marry another wife despite all persuasion by friends and relatives,
because he felt solely responsible for my mother's death, as he only
concentrated on his business affairs without paying attention to
But he ensured that I had everything that I wanted. It was as a result
of this that he made me the next of kin t o his fund deposit of
$6,500,000.00 he deposited in a bank so that I should have a direct
access to the funds if some thing happens to him.
I am presently in a hiding in one of the local hotels here in our
country because of my father's relatives. The bank director assured me
that the funds will be released to me once I have someone who would be
honest and willing to receive the funds on my behalf, they shall
commence all proceedings to effect the release and transfer of the
funds into the person's designated account. Once you signify your
interest to partner with me, I shall be giving you more details such as
my photo, address, telephone number, documents relating to the
transaction and the bank contact information before we can continue.
Your urgent response will be appreciated.