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:
- "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)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev.khumal obenso" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2018 15:32:01 -0000
Subject: God directed,
My Dear child,
I am Rev.khumalobenso.78 years old, now resident in Bolton.
Formally of the SAINT JUDES CATHOLIC CHURCH. Ever since, I have been
helping the orphans in the orphanages, motherless homes and less
privileged across few African countries and Asia.
I have donated some money to orphanages in Sudan, South Africa,
Cameroon, Mozambique, Philippines and Liberia with the money I
inherited from my late father who was into diamond and crude oil
business. But, it is sad to let you know that I have been going
through series of illness from auditory (hearing), multiple sclerosis
and from cancer of the liver.
Before I got ill and went to Monaco, I have some money amounting to
Nineteen million United States dollars (US$19 Million) only with a
financial institution. The fund is safe. I have been using the
financial institution for over twenty years now. I had entrusted some
money to a relation of mine to perform this duty, but unfortunately he
misused the funds, so I have decided to look for a foreigner and a
good-minded person. Email; firstname.lastname@example.org
I will be going to the hospital anytime for major operations. Except
it pleases God, the chance of my survival is slim. God has
specifically told me to help the less privileged people with my
money.Please I solicit for your help to receive the money, invest it
profitably and use it wisely for the less privileged people in your
If you are willing to carry out this soul surviving mission u can get
in touch with me. I will give you instructions on how the funds will
be invested and distributed among the orphanages and less privileged
in return. The Lord has already told me that I would find a
trustworthy person who can carry out this soul surviving transaction.
While I await your response, may God bless you and your family?