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:
- 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:
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- 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)
- will know your email address is valid. email me at (firstname.lastname@example.org/ email@example.com) you can also visit the web page (Gmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Benson Abudukarim <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 22 Nov 2021 14:10:54 -0800
Subject: Director cash processing Unite
Hi, My name is Mr. Charles Koch, an elder brother to late Mr. David Hamilton Koch a philanthropist and the founder of Koch Industries, one of the largest private foundations in the world.
Mr. David Hamilton Koch believe strongly in giving while living and had one idea that never changed in his mind, that you should use your wealth to help people and he decided to give USD2,000,000.00 Million Dollars to randomly selected individuals worldwide before his death on the 23rd of August 2020.
On receipt of this email, you should count yourself as the lucky individual. Kindly get back to me at your earliest convenience, so that I will know your email address is valid. Email me at
(email@example.com/ firstname.lastname@example.org) you can also visit the web page of late Mr. David Hamilton Koch to know more about the Hamilton Foundation and this grant at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_H._Koch
Mr. Charles Koch