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:
- 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:
- "dear friend" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Suzara Maling Wan <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 8 Jan 2022 11:57:05 -0800
Subject: URGENT REPLY NEEDED
My name are Mrs Suzara Maling Wan, I am a Nationality of the Republic
of Philippine presently base in Burkina Faso West Africa, dealing with
exportation of Gold, I was diagnose of blood Causal decease, and my
doctor say that I have few days to leave, I have a proposal and
request for you to help accomplish my dreams and desire of building an
orphanage home in your country for the support and help for the less
privilege once and the motherless children in your country, it please
me to do so because of the fact that I grow up as an orphan.
I have ($4.5 Million Dollars) with one of the International bank here
in Burkina Faso, known as ECOBANK PLC, I have decided to willed the
fund to you for the fulfillment of my dreams and desire of building an
orphanage home in your country since it is impossible for me to carry
out the mission because of my health condition.
If you have a good heart to help this dreams and desire come true,
reply for more details as to enable me direct you to the bank as I
have already discourse this with the bank manager for urgent release
of the fund to you.
With Kind Regard
Mrs Suzara Maling Wan