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.
- 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. )
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Major Diana Holland." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 03 May 2019 20:42:14 +0200
Subject: My Greetings.
My name is Major Diana Holland. I'm an American soldier, am currently
still serving in Iraq for ICU NURSE AT THE COMBAT SUPPORT HOSPITAL AT
CAMP SPEICHER in the United State Army and providing adequate security
for the US embassy in Baghdad. I'm seeking your kind assistance to move
the sum of US$14.5Million to you as far as I can be assured that my
share will be safe in your care until I complete my service, this is no
stolen money, and there is no danger involved. I'm presently in a
hospital recovering from injuries Sustained in a suicide bomb attack,
that took place during our combat with some ISIS Militant, I have
successful move the Fund out of Iraq to S.A, the fund is currently with
a security Company, I am contacting you because you might be a good
fearing citizen of United States that is willing to be involve with this
transaction and I am willing to share the money with you. I am sending
you this email message from the hospital where I am currently admitted
for treatment and you should keep this information confidential between
you and me only. You been wondering how I got your email address I got
from USA online yellow page.
Some money in various currencies was discovered in barrels at a
farmhouse near one of Saddam's old palaces in Tikrit-Iraq during a
rescue operation while I was still serving in Iraq some years ago and it
was agreed by Sgt. Duff and I that some part of this money be shared
among both of us before informing anybody about it since both of us saw
the money first. This was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell you
what? No compensation can make up for the risk we have taken with our
The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind
of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a British contact
working with us and his office enjoy some immunity, I was able to move
the money to a security company in SOUTH AFRICA as a diplomatic baggage.
They are now waiting for us to provide the name of beneficiary who they
will transfer the funds to. The reason I want you to claim the funds on
my behalf is that as a soldier, I cannot present concrete evidence on
how I made such a big amount of money. The moment I'm sure that you will
assist me, I will let you know where I'm currently receiving treatment
and I will also give you the information of the security company and the
security code of the baggage. I want you to tell me how much you will
take from this money for the assistance you will give to me. One
passionate appeal I will make to you is not to discuss this matter with
anybody, should you have reasons to reject this offer, please and please
destroy this message as any leakage of this information will be too bad
for me. I do not know how long I will remain here at the hospital, I
honestly want this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me
as soon as possible,
All correspondence must be by my Private mail address E-mail
Thanks for your anticipated co-operation and my regards to your family.
Major Diana Holland.