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:
- "barrister" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.
- 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:
Date: Fri, 11 Aug 2017 14:43:08 -0500
My name is Mrs. Linda Fulginiti. I am a seventy eight year old woman
who is currently living in South Africa. I immigrated here from the
United States (When?) and spent most of my married life here with my
late husband. (Who?) Ten years ago, immediately after my husband?s death,
I was diagnosed with Kidney (Renal Cell) Cancer. Luckily he left everything in his name to me.
I have decided to donate what I have inherited to you for charity purpose.
I wish to support your cause for aiding the underprivileged and assisting the widows in the country The amount
I am donating is a total of $5,7 million.
I feel much more peace of mind donating money to support your cause than to donate the money to my relatives who will,
more than likely use it in an ungodly manner.
I would prefer to promote the good of mankind.
I don?t know if I will win my battle with cancer. I am going for an
operation tomorrow morning. At this point, it is uncertain whether I
will survive the operation.. In the event that I don?t survive it, I
would just like to wish you luck with the funds that I have deposited
into your account.
Unfortunately, I am unable to take calls at this point in time due to
the current turn of events in my life as my health has declined and I
am unable to have the privilege of privacy as my relatives are always
I would just like to confirm that my lawyer and I have adjusted my
will and now everything I have will be left to you in the event of my
death. When I am deceased, my lawyer will arrange to transfer the
funds into your account. Please find my lawyers details below:
Full name: Barrister Edmond Shaka
Mr. Edmond Shaka has been instructed release a total of $5,7 million upon
receiving an email from you with the reference number I have provided
Law/chamber/pz/ud/ WILL/qa5786531/gasa/0056. This guarantees that the
funds will solely be made available to you and nobody else.
I guarantee that the whole process will run smoothly as Mr. Edmond Shaka
has been making his services available to me for over 20 years.
However, I would appreciate your confidentiality in the matter until
the funds have been released into your account.
Good luck with your cause and I trust that the funds I have donated
will be well used to promote the wellbeing of others.
May the Lord bless you with health, wealth, abundance and happiness.