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:
- 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Eng <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 9 Aug 2018 23:03:45 -0700
My purpose of contacting you is to seek your assistance to get my only daughter saved and secure under your care, to be her guidance, and assured that she acquired good education in your country.
and she is ready to adhere to your instructions. She attended SOS infants, and Missionary Children's Academy in Cape Verde Islands.
However, let me briefly introduce myself to you, I am Eng. Mary Morrison, I am a single mother, I am from a wealthy home and the only child of my late parents.
My deceased father was an oil merchant before he died and he served my country (Cape Verde) with diligence and humanity for fifteen years, he held the position of the chairman of Cape Verde National Petroleum Cooperation and finally joined politics as contest as a presidential aspirant.
Four days after the death of my father, I was arrested by my opposition (Jorge Carlos de Almeida Fonseca) and placed under house arrest without any offence alleged on me, just to jeopardize my political ambition and visions.
To God be the glory, I was able to escape from the house arrest with my daughter and we are now taken political asylum in Ghana and also taking my medical treatment in one of the village.
To summarize it, I am seeking your support if possible to receive my funds sum of US$3,000,000. (Three Million United States Dollars) which my father deposited to my favor in a financial institution in London for onwards transfer abroad. The above funds would be entrusting to you or whoever ready to assistance my child to have a good education and good future, my child is all I have on earth.
I am here on exile taking treatment and I dont know my faith. Please, upon your willingness and after abiding trusts with MOU, I shall send a recommendation letter to the Institution and they shall get the fund release to you either via conventional logistics company or bank to bank transfer, depending on your choice.
Please always reach me with this email address: firstname.lastname@example.org