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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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 orphan scam.
- 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: "Morin Jeffson" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 25 Oct 2018 03:56:13 +0100
Subject: PLEASE GET BACK TO ME
My name is Morin Jeffson; I am 26 years old, from London -England,
where I school and work as a fashion designer for part time job after my
school. Am the only daughter of my parents, my father died on a fatal
auto accident on his way to see my sick mother at the hospital where she
was admitted for Cancer treatment, she also died when she heard about the
death of my father in same day at the hospital.
Before the death of my father, he had willed part of his Real Estate
Business, Gas Stations and a total sum of £50,700,000.00(Fifty Million,
Seven Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling) to me. After the death of my both
parents, things became hard for me, paying my school fees, putting food on
the table and taking care of my other needs with my fashion designer work
which I do as a part time work after my school, I went to the
bank where my late father deposited the fund on my behalf to with-draw
money in other to take care of my self and pay for my school fees with
I was shocked when the Bank Manager explained to me that I will not be
able to with-draw from the deposited money, because my father had put a
clause on the Will, which he used in depositing the fund with them, saying
that before I will be given access to the money, I will either have to be
30 years old or if only I get married before the age of 30 , in which
case, my husband will be legible to claim the money on my behalf by
standing in as my late fathers next of kin to claim the deposited fund on
Today I am only 26 years old. And I have no access to the money till I'm
30 years. So, Im contacting you to stand as my husband to claim this fund
on my behalf and in case if you are married already, you can still help me
by standing in as my late fathers next of kin to the deposited fund. So,
please get back to me as to know how you will be remunerated as I will
part with 20% of the total sum £50,700,000.00 (Fifty Million, Seven
Hundred Thousand Pounds Sterling),while 10% will be mapped out for any
expenses that we're to use to receive the money from the deposited Bank.
Please remember that I am writing you this email purely on the ground of
trust so we can achieve this deal together. This transaction will last for
two weeks after you get back to me on how serious you are to claim this
fund on my behalf. Reply me at: email@example.com