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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "million us 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)
- 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: Mike Lemi Milla <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 23:05:10 +0800
Subject: Private Message,
I have a Mutual/Beneficial Business Project that would be beneficial to
you. I only have two questions to ask of you, if you are interested.
1. Can you handle this project? 2. Can I give you this trust?
I wish to use this opportunity to introduce myself to you. I am Mr. Mike
Lemi Milla, I am the first son of Mr. Jimmy Lemi Milla Mr. Jimmy Lemi Milla
and his bodyguard were shot dead in Juba on Wednesday February 9, 2011, Mr.
Jimmy Lemi Milla was the minister of Cooperatives and Rural Development,
Before he died he revealed to me about the two boxes, one of the box
containing 225 Gold Bars and the other box containing $18.6 Million us
dollars which he deposited with a security company in Ghana for safe
Please note that the deal requires a high level of maturity, honesty and
secrecy. I will do everything to make sure that the money is moved as a
purely legitimate fund, so you will not be exposed to any risk.
I have agreed that 30% of the total amount will be for your effort and
another 5% to cover all the expenses that may incur during the business
I will give you details and procedure when I receive your reply, i will be
waiting for your response in a timely manner. Contact me with my private