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:
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: Marine Marine <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Jul 2021 00:37:03 -0700
Subject: GREENTINGS FROM ORPHAN
Greetings From: Miss Marine,
Permit me to inform you of my desire of going into business
relationship with you.
I got your contact and I prayed over it and selected your name among
other names due to its esteeming nature and the recommendations given
to me as a reputable and trust worthy person that I can confide on and
by the this recommendation I must not hesitate to confide in you for
this legal, truthful and Godly relationship.
First of all, I am very sorry for contacting you while we have not
meet ever before but i urge you to have mercy on me because i am in a
desperate condition right now and i need your help urgently. I am
contacting you because i strongly believe that you will not betray me
because you seems to be trusted. My late father, Before he died, he
told me that he deposited the sum of ($5.5 million Dollars) in one of
the Finance house which i want you to help me to transfer into your
bank account for investment in your country, he told me that he wanted
to use the money to investment in real estate business in another
country and he was searching for a perfect investment partner before
I have decided to write you all about me and my position here and what
I need you to do for me to get my fund out for investment to enable me
and my brother relocate in your area for living and investment. Please
if you can handle this project of transferring the Fund kindly get
back to me to enable me email you the full details but if not don't
border to reply back. This is the only thing I can call my inheritance
after the sudden death of my parents.
I will appreciate if you treat this matter as top confidential.
I am going to email you my complete details, the copy of the deposited
document for your confirmation.
Miss Marine And brother