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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- "first national bank" (not involved with lotteries)
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear beloved," (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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Myra Coulibaly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 04 Apr 2019 20:58:45 +0200
Subject: I Prefer You In This.
My Dear, How are you? Although have initially sent a message but yet to
get your reply.
My Names are Miss MyraIbCoulibaly,23 years of age female from the
Republic of Ivory Coast, The Daughter of Late Chief I.B Coulibaly (known
as General I.B). He died on Thursday 28 April 2011(a date I will never
forget in my life) Please read more about my father in the page below:
the conditions around me have made me to contact you because of the
maltreatment which I was receiving from my step mother. She planned to
take away my entire late father's treasury and properties from me since
the unexpected death of my beloved Father, because my mother died when
she was giving-birth and I was left alone with my step mother to take
care of me. Meanwhile I wanted to travel to Europe, but she hid-away my
traveling documents. Fortunately she did not discover where I kept my
father's File which contained important documents (The will and Deposit
Certificate) of my Father's fund which bears my name to inherit the
money in his foreign bank account. Right now I am in the Republic of
South Africa, with my diplomatic passport. Now I am presently in the
South African Diplomatic Refugee Camp (DRCSA).
I am asking for your help either for relationship or for investment
assistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$30.5
Million in his foreign bank account with the First National bank of
South Africa (FNB) with my name as the next of kin and owner/beneficiary
of the fund. I have contacted the Bank here in South Africa to clear the
deposit but the head of the bank's international wire-transfer Manager
told me that my late father place an instruction on the deposited money,
that I must present a foreign trustee who will help me to investment the
fund, before any transfer will take place.
Finally my dear beloved, my reason of contacting you is just because, I
decide to seek for your help in transferring the money into your bank
account while I will relocate to your country and settle down as the
fund is invested. Once you indicate your interest to help me, I will
give you the contact details of Bank's branch manager where my late
beloved father deposited the money with my name as the next of kin. It
is my intention and decision that you will be compensated with 20% out
of the total money after the transfer which is ($6,100,000.00) and extra
5% for any expenses you will make, for your assistance and the balance
shall be for my investment in any profitable business which you will
recommend to me as I have no knowledge of investment.
I am quickly waiting for your urgent reply and indication of interest so
that I will send to you the Bank manger's contact details for the
transfer of fund to your country.
Thank you and God bless you.
Miss MyraIb.C. ( email@example.com )