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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- 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: Margaret Spencer <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2022 18:50:56 +0100
Subject: My choice for you
A happy new year to you my friend,I pray that the peace of the Lord be with
you and to your family through this new year.I call you my friend even
though I do not know you but from what i am going to share with you
here,you will have reason to appreciate me and accept me as your best
My name is Ms.Margaret Spencer from the United States,I am a 68 year old
widow, I am a caregiver and a Christian beleiving in the Lord Jesus
Christ. Unfortunately I am suffering from cancer which has reached its
terminal stage after defiling all medical attention and the doctors have
ruled that I might be dying at any time.
I was actually searching for a trusted person and a believer like me who
would inherit my property and the spirit directed me to you immediately i
came across your page.
Before I fell sick, I deposited a $15 Million dollars in the American
Express bank which i inherited from my late husband. As a caregiver,I
intended to use the fund for charity,to share it among the poor and the
orphans and the less priviledges anywhere i can reach them.
But now considering my failing health condition,I cannot be avle to achieve
that again and that is the reason i am contacting you now to donate the
fund to you so you can use it to achieve my purpose,to share it with the
poor and less privileged and other vulnerable people around you
especially those affected by the devastating and harsh condition of
Covid-19 pandemic.This is part of my new year resolution.
I have no one as my next of kin to inherit the fund if i eventually die
because my only son David who was to be my next of kin died along with
his father in 2013 so I would rather give the money to you as charity than
allow it to be dormant in the bank because the corrupt bankers will steal
it if they eventually discover that I am dead and no one is coming for the
I will only need you to send me your full bank account details and
telephone number so I can send it to the bank manager to transfer the money
Please do not ignore this message or think this could be some kind of
scam,Accept it as a token of my magnanimity and love to humanity and
mankind.This is my humble sacrifice to the Glory of God.
I will like you to reply back to me on firstname.lastname@example.org
With love from your friend