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:
- "i got your email address from " (this SPAM email was probably sent to thousands of people)
- 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: "Ms. Katherine Pierce Koffi" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2021 02:12:15 -0800
Subject: Re. please your urgent respond is needed
My name is Ms. Katherine Koffi. I worked with Vedanta Resources Ltd,
the United Kingdom for 25 years, but I retired in the year 2013. I
didn't marry and I have no child of my own due to my health issues.
Presently, I am 68 years old and suffering from chronic tract cancer.
From doctor's indications, my condition is really deteriorating and
is quite obvious that my death is very close to me as I can see my
life quickly ebbing away. I am bedridden and in constant pain.
The stage is worst for more than two months now and I have been
hospitalized which affected my ability to talk. I am an orphan, no
Parents, no brother, no sister but my country home origin is Cote
I was working with Vedanta Resources Ltd in United Kingdom, company's
headquarters here in the United Kingdom; I am working with this
particular company for 25 years before i was promoted as deputy
When I was working with Vedanta Resources Ltd, the United Kingdom, I
deposited the sum of USD$910,000.00 in United Bank for Africa Cote
d'Ivoire. This money is still with the bank, but due to my poor health
condition and based on doctor's indications, I am scared that my life
is almost at the end, so I have decided to donate this USD$910,000.00
to the Charity.
I took this decision because I don't have any child that will inherit
this money. Please, I want the United Bank for Africa (UBA) to
transfer this USD$910,000.00 to you so that you can help me to donate
70% of the money to any Charity Organization, while you take the
remaining 30% of the money as your reward for your assistance in
fulfilling my heart desire.I know that I have never met you before,
I got your email address from Google and my confidence reposed on
you.If I receive your reply,
I will write to the United Bank for Africa to transfer the money to you.
Send your response to my private email at: email@example.com
I expect your prompt reply and wish you will put me in your prayers henceforth.
Thanks and God bless you.
Ms. Katherine Koffi.