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)
- "00,000.00" (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: "Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 2021 14:09:22 +0100
Subject: DONATION FROM EVELYN JAXON
Greetings my beloved friend,
I am Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon, please I have a fund of $2,800,000.00 Million
dollars that I want to donate through you for the orphanage, widow and
I am writing from the hospital where I was diagnosed because of blood
cancer for a very long time and I am afraid that I might lose this fund to
the government here if I die because i want the fund to be for the poor in
I will appreciate your honesty and courage to handle this fund to help the
orphans and the charity home. As soon as i receive your message regarding
your interest in this fund to help the charity home and the less
privileges, I will give you more details about this fund.
Mrs. Evelyn Jaxon