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 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)
- 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: "Miss. C. A" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 31 Jul 2019 11:51:37 +0200
Subject: my subject
Hello My Dearest, =
I have looked for a better way to reach you, but I have failed severally i=
n my efforts, rather I only got this means to contact you as this is urgent=
and please do not be offended by it as I expect your quick reply.
I am Miss Aaren Ib Coulibaly, and I am 24 years old female from the Republ=
ic of Ivory Coast, in West Africa. The Daughter of Late Chief I.B Coulibaly=
(also known as General I.B). He died on Thursday 28 April 2011(a date I wi=
ll never forget in my life) and this was as a result of a fight with the Re=
publican Forces of Ivory Coast (FRCI).You can read more about my father in =
the link below:
I am constrained to contact you because of the maltreatment which I am rec=
eiving 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 alo=
ne with my step mother to take care of me. Meanwhile I wanted to travel to =
Europe, but she hide-away my traveling documents. Fortunately she did not d=
iscover 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 =
as the next of kin to inherit the money in his foreign bank account. Due to=
her aggressions on me, I decided to move away to Republic of south Africa,=
and right now I am presently staying in the South African Diplomatic Refug=
ee Mission Camp, I am seeking for your help (relationship) and investment a=
ssistance. My father of blessed memory deposited the sum of US$20.5 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 of the fund. I have contacte=
d the Bank here in South Africa to clear the deposit but the head of the ba=
nk=2019s international wire-transfer Manager told me that my late father pl=
ace an instruction on the deposited fund that I must present a foreign trus=
tee who will help me for the investment of the fund, just due to my young a=
ge as at the time of the deposit.
Finally my dear beloved, my reason of contacting you is because I decide t=
o 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 un=
der your care. Once you have agreed to help me in this, I will give you the=
contact details of Bank manager where my late beloved father deposited the=
money with my name as the next of kin. It is my intention to compensate yo=
u with 25% out of the total money after the transfer and extra 5% for any e=
xpenses you will make, for your assistance and the balance shall be my inve=
stment in any profitable business which you will recommend to me as I have =
no idea about foreign investment. Please all my communications with you sho=
uld be through my email address; for confidential purposes as for now and I=
will provide you with my phone numbers once I managed to get any phone wit=
h me. Please keep everything confidential until this money goes to your acc=
Thank you as I wait for your positive response.
Miss Aaren. Coulibaly My email is this ( email@example.com )