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:
- "million united states dollars" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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 (Mail2president; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Melania Trump" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 29 Sep 2017 17:27:03 +0100
Subject: First Lady Office Mrs. Melania Trump .
Good Day My Dear
I am Mrs. Melania Trump this is to officially inform you that your
overdue payment from Benin Republic total sum of ($18.000.000)
Eighteen Million United States Dollars is currently here in my office
white house Washington DC and the funds will be delivered to you as
soon as you get back to this office and comply with the requirement as
needed to deliver your total fund to you as well. Your home address
and your cell phone numbers is highly needed to complete this
delivering to you as well,
Bear in mind that I have taking my time to be in charge of your funds
as instructed by my husband to ensure that you received your funds
successfully from the white house to reduce the economy and Iâm the
only one that has your funds in regard to my husband Mr.Donald Trump
II and you will have to pay the sum of $188 only before your Bank
Cheque Draft will deliver to you , the reason why the fee is required
is to have your funds clearance paper from the origin of the funds to
avoid any harassment from the authority and you are also expecting to
be announce as Beneficiary of the said amount as your fund is
delivered to you. So you are urgent advised to get back to me with
your home address and also the payment information today for immediate
effect of your delivery. Note that the $188 is the only fee and final
payment you have my assurance, and you can contact me through text
messages with this number 201-754-8270
Please acknowledge the receipt of this letter via e-mail address:
Mrs. Melania Trump
The White House
(Official Residenace of the President of the US)
First Lady United State Of America.
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