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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "hundred thousand united states 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 next of kin scam.
- 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: MARIA MORATO <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 06 Aug 2020 00:07:19 +0000
Subject: Maria Morato
My name is Maria Morato, I am the Administrative manager at a Vault of a
Financial & Security Institute in Spain.I discovered here in our bank an
abandoned sum of 26.7m US dollars (Twenty six million seven hundred
thousand United States dollars) in our safety deposit vault that belongs
to one of our foreign customers who died along with his entire family on
11th March 2008 in a ghastly car accident in Porto Portugal.
itâs my concern to demand your ultimate honesty, co-operation and
confidentiality to enable us claim this funds for our mutaul benefits.
If my opinion is to be respected, kindly get back to me for further