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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million pounds" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Maira Terra" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 12:04:44 -0800
Subject: Re: Good day to you...
Pardon me for contacting you through this medium of communication. I am Maria Terra from Spain, I have been doing God's work for over 30yrs now,I AM ALSO THE FOUNDER OF GRACE LIFE MINISTRIES (CHURCH); My husband died due to corona virus complication last year and I have been diagnosed of a deadly cancer and the doctor told me that I have less than 4 months to live. Because of my deteriorating health and without hope of staying longer on earth, I have become more committed to my creator and I have decided to entrust my last £12,282.000.00 Million Pounds to you as my partner /appointed next of kin with hope that you will use it wisely to do charity work, support less privileges and also establish a foundation in my name to remember me after I must have died.
Tt is very important you forward to me your information below;
your full name:
To enable me issue you a LETTER OF AUTHORIZATION to you which you will forward to the bank so that the fund will be transfer to your account as soon as i hear from you i will give you the contact information of the bank account officer,tell him that I have WILLED my £12,282.000.00 Million Pounds to you and I have also notified him. I know I don't know you but I have been directed to do this by God almighty.
Thanks and God bless!
Mrs. Maria Terra