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:
- 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)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 24 Apr 2019 06:42:22 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: My Dearest,
My Dearest,My name is a MISS SENG FOO BOON, I'm from Malaysia, 21 years old female! Respect is trusting and humanity, I appeal to you to exercise a little patience and read this message, In accordance to my present condition, I felt expedient to write you with tears and sorrow from my heart to inform you on the wicked conspiracy hatched by my wicked Uncles. My late parents were among the dead victims of the missing Malaysian Airline, flight MH370, had 239 people on board and was En route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March 2014.
My late father left the sum of $4,500,000 four million, five hundred thousand dollars to my name as part of my share because I'm the only survived child of my late parents, I am afraid to allow my uncles to help me they will not allow me access to the money if they help me, because after the death of my parents, they join hands and sold my father's assets to a Switzerland expatriate and left me with nothing. However, I think about all that I am passing through here in Refugee Camp I decided to reveal myself to you seeking for your help to transfer my inheritance money to you.
Please reconfirm this informationâs below if youâre willing to help me.
Home and Office Address.
As soon as I have the above information I will put things in other by sending you the contact person in charge of the money and to enable you him on how my inheritance money could be send to you over there in your country, while I will be coming over to your country as soon as you received the money. I have deposited the deposit certificate and other documents related to this money to the bank. Because presently, I am staying in a refugee camp for my safety because of my uncles the documents is not safe here. Please Do not be afraid there is no risk involved and every legitimate arrangement for you to receive this money successfully has been put in place. For helping me receive this money 40% of the total money will be your share. Also for confidentiality in this transaction, I will like us to keep via email for now. Please reply to my private email address if you're willing to help me: firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Seng Foo Boon