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:
- 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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Fostina Unberreciy" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 16 Jan 2018 09:17:58 -0800
Subject: Re: Hello Dear
I am Mrs. Fostina Unberreciy from Montreal Canada, 62 years old. I was diagnosed with leukemia cancer four months ago and the doctor told me that I might not live up to next six months. After so much thought and considering my poor state of health, I have decided to donate my life insurance assets of Two million eight hundred thousand Euros through you to help people with cancer in your country.
I do not have a child and instead of leaving this asset to an ungrateful family member who has not been helpful and supportive during this period of my unstable health situation or the bank to seat on it. I choose to donate this money and support those who suffer from cancer.
I choose you after my search on the Internet and I know that you have the capacity to carry out this great humanitarian service. I will be expecting your response for more details
Mrs. Fostina Unberreciy.