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.
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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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- ",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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr. Grayson Carson" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 10 Mar 2021 13:57:10 +0200
Subject: Date: 9 / 03 /2021
My Name is Dr. Grayson Carson the Chief Operating Officer of Standard Bank
of South Africa and I am in need of a reliable foreigner to carry out this
An account was opened in my bank by one of my customers in the name of MR.
THOMAS BAHIA a Dutch National from Germany who made a fixed deposit of
$11,500,000.00 (Eleven Million, Five hundred Thousand United States
Dollars) and never show up again and I later discovered that he died with
his entire family members on a plane crash that occurred in Libya on the
12th of May 2010 and below is a link for your view..
Now I want to present a foreigner as next of kin to late Thomas so we can
make the claim and you can contact me if you are interested so I can give
you more detailed information about this transaction. For the sharing of
the money will be shared in the ratio of 50% for me, 40% for you and 10% to
cover our expenses after the deal.
Now the total amount to be transferred is $12.2 million because of the
interest the fund has accumulated since 2010.
Please keep this absolutely confidential weather interested or not.
Dr. Grayson Carson