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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "your humble assistance" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a orphan scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Miss Reneta Williams <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Aug 2020 07:29:08 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Greetings My Dearest ,Please i need your urgent assistance.
Greetings My Dearest ,Please i need your urgent assistance.
I am Miss Reneta Williams, From Benin Republic, West Africa. And my late parents are Mr. and Mrs. Dikko Williams; my father was a highly reputable business magnet who operated in Benin Republic during his days.
I am writing this mail to you with tears and sorrow from my heart. With due respect trust and humanity, I know this mail will come to you as a surprise since we haven't known or come each other before, considering the fact that I sourced your email contact through the Internet in search of trusted person who can be trusted and assist me. It is sad to say that he passed away mysteriously in France during one of his business trips abroad. Though his sudden death was linked or rather suspected to have been masterminded by an uncle of his who traveled with him at that time. But God knows the truth! My mother
died when I was just 6yrs old, and since then my father took me so special.
Before his death, he called me and informed me that he has the sum of Eighteen Million Five Hundred United States Dollar left in fixed deposit account in one of the leading banks in Africa. He further told me that he deposited the money in my name, and also gave me all the necessary but legal documents to this fund with the bank. I am 24 years
old and a university undergraduate and really don't know what to do. Now I want an account overseas where I can transfer this funds and after the transaction I will come and reside permanently in your country till such a time that it will be convenient for me to return back home if I so desire.
The death of my father actually brought sorrow to my life. I also want to invest the fund under your care because I am ignorant of business world. I am in a sincere desire of your humble assistance in this regards. Your suggestions and ideas will be highly regarded. Reply me on this email for more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please, consider this and get back to me as soon as
possible. Immediately I confirm your willingness, here is one of my
Picture and also inform you more details involved in this matter.
Miss Reneta Williams