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:
- "million 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: "Mrs. Marine Olakun" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 02 May 2019 00:21:15 +0100
Subject: From World Economic Forum
Greetings from an Orphan
from: Ms. Gracie Olakun
Please for security reasons reply to; (firstname.lastname@example.org) if
you are willing and interested.
Permit me to inform you of my desire to go into business relationship
I got your contact and I prayed over it and selected your email among
other emails believing that you are a reputable and trustworthy person
that I can confide in. I urge you to have mercy on me and my brother
because we are in a desperate condition right now and we need your help
urgently, strongly believing that you will not betray this trust we are
reposing in you. My late father Mr. Olakun, before his tragic death
deposited the sum of ($5.5 million Dollars) in a bank. As his only
daughter, he told me that he wanted to use the money for investment in
real estate business in a foreign country and he was searching for a
perfect investment partner before he died. From the attitude of my
uncles during the funeral, I decided not to fight to inherit my fatherâs
properties including his businesses because I suspected that they are
the same people that killed him and may also want to kill me and my
brother. Therefore we decided to go in search of this deposit which is
the reason why we left our country and came to this country where we are
now. I am therefore seeking your assistance to invest the money in your
country or any other country you seem safe and secure in a lucrative
business while we go back to school. We came here to the bank to make
our claims known. We came with the deposit agreement my late father made
with the finance house. After verifying the document with the one in
their file, the finance house accepted us as the next of kin but said
that my father agreed with the bank that the money will be invested by
his foreign partner, and therefore that the money will not be released
to me unless I present the foreign partner. That is the reason why I
contacted you. I have the deposit documents and the Letter of Acceptance
the finance house gave to me showing that they have accepted our claims.
I will show you the documents on request. You will also help me and my
brother to relocate to your country. Please if you can handle this
project of investing the money, kindly get back to me to enable me give
you the contact of the finance house and how we will claim the money for
investment. This is the only thing I can call my inheritance after the
sudden death of my father and we count on you. Please on your return
mail send me your telephone number. I will appreciate if you treat this
Ms. Gracie Olakun and brother.