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:
- 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 pounds" (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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Marina C. Paulson" <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2021 04:05:36 +0100
Greetings and thank you for your response. Please let this not sound
strange to you because I am not asking you for money, for my only
surviving lawyer who would have done this, died early this year. I
prayed and got your email address from your country's guest book which
I got from my late husband's archive and I wish to visit once more if
God will in his infinite mercies grant me. In function of your good
profile, I want to solicit your assistance in the discharge of my
Will. I am Mrs. Marina C. Paulson, from London and am aged 68 years
suffering from endometrial cancer. Please, I want you to help me
create a charitable project with the money that I inherited from my
deceased husband who died in a motor accident. I was brought up from a
motherless baby's home and was married to my late husband for twenty
nine years without a child.
My friends have plundered so much of my wealth since my illness and I
cannot live with the agony of entrusting this huge responsibility to
any of them anymore, so I sold all my inherited belongings and
deposited all the sum of 9,000,000.00 GBP (Nine Million Pounds) with
my bank. All I need is an honest person who will use at least %60 of
the funds as I would instruct, then the rest %40 will go to you for
helping me accomplish this mission because donating this money to
charity is the only legacy I can leave behind after my death. No money
is required from you to carry on with this project because it is my
heart desire to make a generous gift to you to work for a charity in
your country. I don't mind if you are a Christian or Muslim or Hindu
or Buddhist rather my only paramount concern here is whether I can
trust you because this generation is filled up with greedy and
fraudulent people all over the world. I will give you more details as
soon as I hear from you.
Please contact me on the below emails: firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to your urgent response.
Mrs. Marina C. Paulson