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:
- "utmost confidentiality" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Maria Talley <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 04 Apr 2020 12:38:51 +0100
Subject: Hello Friend
May the Peace of the Lord be with you!
Please this is an urgent solicitation for assistance, I'm Mrs Maria
Talley from United States of America, but I lived in London for many
years. I am 54 years old. I was diagnosed of cancer for about 2 years
ago. This letter comes from a devastated, sorrowful and emotional laden
soul that needs compassion from a kind and conscience driven person. I
need someone who has a sincere compassionate heart of international
humanitarian charity. There is some properties left by my late husband,
which I sold, because the doctor had diagnosed me that I am in my last
days, that I can not live anymore longer, so I have to sale all those
properties that was left by my late husband.
I have deposited the sum of $9.5 Million in a Bank in United States of
America, which I sold from my properties and deposited it in New York
City Bank in America. I want you to help me use this funds to help the
less privilege, the motherless baby homes and hospitals in your country
before I die. I want you to take 40 percent of the total money for your
personal use, while 60% of the money will go to charity. I will
appreciate your utmost confidentiality and trust in this matter to
accomplish my heart desire, as I don't want anything that will
jeopardize my last wish. If you are a good and honest person write back
to me for more.
Thanks and God bless you,
Mrs Maria Talley