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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "offshore account" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: Weir Charitable Trust <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 4 Mar 2020 15:57:29 +0100
My name is Christine Weir and i live in Scotland, My husband and I
scooped 161 million on the EuroMillions lottery in July 2011 - the
largest jackpot won in Europe and have
voluntarily decided to donate the sum of Two Million Five Hundred
Thousand United States Dollars ($2,500,000.00) to you as part of our
own 2020 charity project to improve the
life's of 5 lucky individuals all over the continents of the world.
Our Weir Charitable Trust aims to support Scottish groups, individuals
or other charities providing services
in the country. We are delighted that the Weir Charitable Trust is now
open since we won the Euro Millions lottery, it has been a privilege
to be in a position to provide support
where we could and we have been looking at finding a more structured
way to share our good fortune on an ongoing basis across Scotland.
You can verify our winnings, please see our interview by visiting the
web page below:
This is a dream of touching the lives of 5 lucky individuals, and i
want this to be confidential not to attract the public. I have
deposited the sum of $2,500,000.00 in an
Offshore Account which is ready to be released to you once you contact
my lawyer Mr. Anthony Wilson with the following information below:
Name : Anthony Wilson
Contact him now and send him (1) Your full names, (2) Your contact
Address, (3) Your mobile phone numbers, so he can guide you on
receiving your funds nominated to you as part of my personal charity.
I know how excited you must be to receive this gift from me, and the
truth is that i am secretly doing this to put smiles into homes and
hearts of people worldwide.
Once again congratulation from all staff of Weir Charitable Trust.
To know more about me please view my biography:
Weir Charitable Trust
27 Maritime Street
Leith,mmEdinburgh, EH6 6SE