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:
- 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 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)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
Fraud email example:
From: Fatima Yusuf <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 11 Jun 2019 17:44:10 +0200
Subject: From:Miss:Fatima Yusuf.
From:Miss: Fatima Yusuf.
For sure this mail would definitely come to you as a surprise, but do
take your good time to go through it, My name is Ms. Miracle Willams,i
am from Ivory Coast.
I lost my parents a year and couple of months ago. My father was a
serving director of the Agro-exporting board until his death. He was
assassinated by his business partners.Before his death, he made a
deposit of US$9.7 Million Dollars here in Cote d'ivoire which was for
the purchase of cocoa processing machine and development of another
factory before his untimely death.
Being that this part of the world experiences political and crises time
without number, there is no guarantee of lives and properties. I cannot
invest this money here any long, despite the fact it had been my late
father's industrial plans.
I want you to do me a favor to receive this funds into your country or
any safer place as the beneficiary, I have plans to invest this money in
continuation with the investment vision of my late father, but not in
this place again rather in your country. I have the vision of going into
real estate and industrial production or any profitable business
I will be ready to compensate you with 20% of the total Amount, now all
my hope is banked on you and i really wants to invest this money in your
country, where there is stability of Government, political and economic
My greatest worry now is how to move out of this country because my
uncle is threatening to kill me as he killed my father,Please do not let
anybody hear about this, it is between me and you alone because of my
I am waiting to hear from you.