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:
- "dearest one," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- ",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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Mrs. Esther Parr" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2021 17:23:15 +0200
Subject: My Regards To You.
My Dearest One, =
This message is from the deepest of my heart because, You are my only hope.
This is importantly urgent as it is my reason of contacting you, but howev=
er, kindly reply quickly enough before anything happens to me. I have initi=
ally sent you massages twice to this particular email address in the past w=
eek but, I have not received your reply. It will be good if you could kindl=
y let me know if this your email address is still active and working by rep=
lying to this message and the request I am making here in below with it bec=
ause, it is very urgent my sweet dear.
Actually, the reason I tried severally to reach you is because, I am willi=
ng to DONATE and change my WILL to your names to benefit this sum of USD$30=
.5, Thirty Million, Five Hundred Thousand dollars ($30,500,000USD), for the=
help of the less privileged and homeless and old age people as well as the=
needy in your country and other countries of your choice, of which you wil=
l be responsible in taking care of the disbursement and sharing of this mon=
ey to organizations that I will appoint. Meanwhile, you will also get 30% o=
f the money which will amount to the sum of; Nine million, One hundred Thou=
sand ($9,150,000USD) as your compensation for helping me fulfill this desir=
e of donation and Godly good will.
I am Mrs. Deborah E. Parrboat from republic of Ireland, born in the state =
of Ohio-USA. I am legally married to Mr. Hilary Hendricks Parrboat, a South=
Africa citizen brought up in Switzerland, where we married and lived and =
my husband did his business for 18 years before we returned to south Africa=
in 1996 after my husband=2019s retirement. I am 72 years of age by the gra=
ce of God, but we did not have any child even after 40 years of marriage. I=
t is more unfortunate to me that my beloved husband is dead. This money I w=
ant to will and donate to your care emancipated from the deposit he made wi=
th the bank and for this purpose as well, so you have nothing to worry abou=
t as there is not risk involved in this project and transfer of the fund.
Kindly and quickly do your best to get back to me as soon as possible once=
you received this message, because my health condition in the hospital her=
e is critical and I do not have much hope to live longer as the doctors' re=
ports have indicated. The cancer (leukemia) has overwhelmed my body and blo=
od system. It is really critical and painful on me as I am speaking to you=
, I will be undergoing an intensive blood transfusion next week and I do n=
ot know my hope of surviving it, so please reply quickly for this project a=
nd transfer of the fund to be started immediately by the banker. =
May the Grace of GOD Almighty be with you and your family as I wait for yo=
ur quick response providing to me your direct contact details of your email=
address and phone numbers. kindly reply quickly to this and equally call m=
e if you can? (email@example.com) =
Phone (+27-79-440-5094 ) =
I wait for your urgent reply as you remain blessed.
Mrs. Esther D. Parr.