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:
- 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)
- ",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)
- "30% for you " (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)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "dying merchant" scam.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Ari Lae" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2021 10:25:49 +0200
Subject: AW: support of helping Motherless babies/Less privileged/Widows
I'm Mr. Ari Lae, a crude oil trader in Finland, I was diagnosed with
esophageal cancer. It has defiled all forms of medical treatment, and
at the moment I have only a few months to live, according to medical
experts. I haven't lived my life particularly well as I've never
really cared about anyone (not even myself) other than my business.
Although I am very rich, I have never been generous, I was always
hostile to people and have only focused on my business the only thing
that was important to me. But now I regret all of this because I now
know that life is more than just wanting to have or earn all the money
in the world. I believe that if God gave me a second chance to come
into this world, I would live my life differently from how I lived it.
Now that God has called me, I have willed and given most of my
property and assets to my immediate and extended family members and a
few close friends. I want God to be gracious to me and accept my soul
so I decided to give alms to charities as I want this to be one of the
last good deeds I do on earth. So far I have distributed money to a
number of charities in Finland, Austra, Cameroon, Liberia, Algeria and
Malaysia. Now that my health has deteriorated so badly, I can no
longer do it myself. I once asked members of my family to close one of
my accounts and distribute the money I have there to charities in
Bulgaria and Pakistan, they refused and kept the money to themselves.
Therefore, I no longer trust them as they seem not to be happy with
what I left them with. The last of my money that no one knows about is
the huge ten million dollars ($ 10,000,000.00) cash deposit I have
with a financial institution overseas. I want you to help me collect
this deposit and send it to charities. I have reserved 30% for you and
your time. God is with you. As you read this, I don't want you to feel
sorry for me because I believe everyone will die someday. What bothers
me the most is my blood pressure sickness. After knowing my condition,
I decided to ask for your kind assistance in giving this money to
motherless babies / less privileged / widows because I asked Almighty
God to forgive me and believe that He did it. because he is a merciful
God. If that money is not collected after my death, the executives of
financial institutions or the government will take the money as
unclaimed money and perhaps use it for selfish and worthless
endeavors, I need a very honest person who can collect that money and
use it for charity , for orphanages and widows. I need your urgent
response to know if you can go ahead with this project and I will give
you more information on how the money will be collected. Please treat
this confidentially and keep it secret between the two of us for
Mr. Ari Lae.