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 phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",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)
- "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)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Bill Gates"<email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 17 Oct 2019 14:48:52 -0500
I hope this information meet you well as I know you will be curious to know why I selected you to receive a sum of $5,000,000.00 USD. The information below is 100% legitimate, please see the link below: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_%26_Melinda_Gates_Foundation
My wife and I decided to donate the sum of $5,000,000.00 USD to you as part of our charity project to improve the 10 lucky individuals all over the world from our $65 Billion USD, My Wife and I Mapped out to help people. We prayed and searched over the internet for assistance and I saw your profile on Microsoft email owners list and picked you. Melinda and I have decided to make sure this is put on the internet for the world to see. As you could see from the web page above, am not getting any younger and you can imagine having no much time to live, although am a Billionaire investor and we have helped some charity organizations from our Fund.
You see after taking care of the needs of our immediate family members before we die we decided to donate the remaining of our Billions to other individuals around the world in need, the local fire department, the red cross, Haiti, hospital in truro where Melinda underwent her cancer treatment and some other organizations in Asia and Europe that fight Cancer, Alzheimerâs, Diabetes and the bulk of the funds deposited with our pay-out bank of this charity donation. We have kept just 30% of the entire sum to our self for the remaining days because I am no longer strong. My wife and I will be traveling to Germany for Treatment.
To facilitate the payment process of the funds ($5,000,000.00 USD) which have been donated solely to you, you are to send me the details below:
Your Full Names.................
Your Contact Address................
Your Mobile Number...............
Send the above details to me so that I can forward your payment information to you immediately. I am hoping that you will be able to use the money wisely and judiciously over there in your City. Please you have to do your part to also alleviate the level of poverty in your region, help as many as you can once you have this money in your personal account because that is the only objective of donating this money to you in the first place.
Thank you for accepting our offer, we are indeed grateful and you can Google my name for more information: Mr Bill Gates or Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Mr. Bill Gates