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 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)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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:
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 17:29:14 -0200 (BRST)
Subject: International Relief Fund (IRF)
Hello Dear ,
COVID-19 RELIEF FUND DONATION.
You have been awarded the sum of US$2,000,000 (Two Million Dollars) as
Covid-19 Economic Devastation Relief.
The COVID-19 pandemic marks an unprecedented time in modern history that
will require the best of humanity to overcome. Our Global Donation will
support immediate and long-term relief and recovery to vulnerable
individuals, businesses and communities during one of the most challenging
times we have collectively faced. The crisis has brought so many
businesses, companies and small scale businesses to a devastating halt. It
has threatened everyone's way of life, but it is especially difficult for
people who are already vulnerable. Some people around the globe,
especially migrants, wage workers, and those with flexible jobs and small
scale businesses have already started feeling the devastating economic
We have received Billions of Dollars from Donors to help in this poverty
alleviation program. We will work with our partners on the ground to
allocate funds where they're most needed. We believe that organizations
that are deeply rooted are best positioned to lead long-term plans to stop
COVID-19 and the devastating economic effect of the Global Lockdowns. Our
funds have been delivered down to our distribution points and currently
secured by the International Committee of Red Cross (ICRC) Vault
Operations, Centurion, South Africa. Our Payment Administrator will help
to process and release to you the sum of US$2, 000,000 (Two Million United
States Dollars) to enable you boost your business, stabilize your region,
help the vulnerable and less-privileged and help stop the spread of
Covid-19. Kindly contact the payment administrator to her email:
email@example.com (Mrs. Cynthia Mhlanga). Ensure to provide her
with your following information:
1. Your full names.
2. Your address.
3. Your telephone.
4. Your age.
5. Your occupation.
6. Your bank account information where to receive funds.
We thank you and congratulate you once again!
Dr. Domingos Monegatto
Relief International Giving and Donation