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:
- "million 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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Faith Robinson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 10 Oct 2020 17:41:54 -0700
Subject: I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer
I am Mrs.Faith Robinson, I was browsing and I saw your contact details, I decided to contact you in person, I have been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and right now I have only about a few months to live according to my doctors. I have not particularly lived my life so well, as I never really cared for anyone (not even myself) but my business, Though I am very rich, but was never generous, I was always hostile to people and only focused on my business as that was the only thing I cared for. But now I regret all this as I now know that there is more to life than just wanting to have or make all the money in the world. Now that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my properties and assets to my immediate and extended family members as well as a few close friends.
I have decided to give alms to charity organizations, I want this to be one of the last good deeds I do on earth. So far, I have distributed money to some charity organizations in Africa, Haiti, Pakistan and Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I cannot do this myself anymore. I once asked members of my family to give some money to charity organizations in your community, they refused and kept the money to themselves. Hence, I do not trust them anymore, as they seem not to be contented with what I have left for them.
The last of my money which no one knows of is the huge cash deposit of $2,000,000.00 USD (Two Million United States Dollars) with a finance house abroad. I will want you to help me collect this deposit and dispatch it to charity organizations in your country. I have set aside 30% of these funds for you and for your assistance.
I can be reach directly on this email: firstname.lastname@example.org
God bless you,