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:
- "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.
- 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: "Mrs.Teresita Sy Coson" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 12 Nov 2019 22:37:32 +0100
Subject: DONATION FOR less-privileged
My beloved in Christ,
May the peace of the Almighty God be with you and your Family, My Donation To You in good faith.
Donation of (£3,500.00 GBP)(Three Million, Five Hundred Thousand GBP) for charity Less privileged peoples orphanages work., building of hospitals and also for the assistance of the poor widows, Motherless babies, Charity organization, CHRISTIAN OR MUSLIM and and orphans.I don't know you in person but God knows you, so contacting
you for this assignment is a direction from the holy spirit of God to donate this fund outside this country.
I need a very honest and sincere Individual or corporate organization that will use the fund for humanitarian helps I found your email address from the Human resources
data base and i decided to contact you. Please if you would be able to use the funds for the work of humanity as I have stated here to fulfill my wishes, kindly reply
me on my private email address ( firstname.lastname@example.org )for more details so that we can proceed further immediately.
Mrs.Teresita Sy Coson
vice chair of SM Investments Corporation,
one of Philippines' largest publicly
traded holding companies