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:
- ",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)
- 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: Mrs rebbecca Paul <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2021 11:58:31 +0000
Subject: Donations of charity work of god
My greetings to you and your family.
I am Mrs rebecca paul a widow to late Dr paul. I am contacting you
because I am dying. Recently, my doctor told me that I have some few
months to live due to the surgery that was conducted.
Though what disturbs is my present predicament due to the damaged of
my spinal cords in the accident. Having known my condition, I have
decided to Will/Donate the sum of ($2,500,000.00 ) to charity and
individual for the good work of God, and to help the motherless, less
privileged and also for the assistance of the widows, Because I am the
only surviving person and nobody else that will inherit this money now
that my two daughters are dead.
All I want you to do is to assist in safe-keep of this fund which is
deposited at the custody of the security firm before it gets
confiscated or declared un-serviceable.
I have also decided that 30% of fund should be taken by you from the
fund upon the successful release of this fund. I will give you more
details as soon as i receive your reply.contact me with my email
Mrs rebecca paul