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:
- ",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)
- "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 SMITH ANGELA <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Sep 2021 03:56:32 -0700
I got your contact when I was looking for a suitable and reliable person in
Nigeria who can establish an animal farm for cows and others.
My name is Mrs Smith Angela, My husband was a member of the UK parliament
and he recently died of coronavirus. My husband and I both have a deposit
of USD 55,000,000.00 with his Bank in London.
We heard about RUGA and the fight going on between the herdsmen with
farmers in nigeria. Before my husband was taken to an isolation center,
where he died, he told me to use the funds to help the people of the
northern part of Nigeria in building animal shelters in their different
Due to my current bad state of health, I cannot come to Nigeria to work on
this project by myself. Therefore I would like to donate this US$
55,000,000.00 to you so that you can handle this humanitaria project. You
will use part of the funds to buy or build a house that will contain at
least 1000-2000 herdsmen in different regions of the north. You will then
employ some veterinary staff, buy some ambulances and get some experts that
will work in the animal farms.
The donation is practically for taking care of animals.
If you are interested, please let me know and I will prepare a contract on
your behalf before my bank will transfer the funds to your account.
To prepare a contract on your name, I will need your.
1. Full names
3. Telephone number where I can call you.
4. ID card or copy of Passport
I need your urgent response.
Thank you very much,
Mrs Smith Angela