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:
- 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 united states 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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs Suzanne Mubarak" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 11 Jan 2022 21:49:42 +0200
Subject: From Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak
I am Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak, the wife of Deposed and now late Egyptian
president Hosni Mubarak who was jailed by the government of Egypt.
You must have heard over the media reports and the Internet on the
discovery of some fund in my husband secret bank account
and companies and the allegations of some huge sums of money deposited
by my late husband in my name of which I have refused to disclose or give
up to the corrupt Egyptian Government.
in fact the total sum allegedly discovered by the Government so far is in
the amount of about $6.5 Billion Dollars. And they are not relenting on their
effort to make me and my sons(Gamal & Alaa Mubarak) poor for life.
As you know, the Muslim community has no regards for women, more
importantly when the woman is from a Christian background, hence my desire
for a foreign assistance.
This arrangement will be known to you and I alone and all our
correspondence should be strictly on email alone because our government
has tapped all our lines and are monitoring all my moves. In view of the
above, if you are willing to assist for our mutual benefits, you shall be
compensated with 20% of the funds after the completion and transfer of
fund in your possession.
I have the sum of One Hundred Million United States Dollars (100MUSDS)
with a Private Storage Unit in Dubai, United Arab Emirates whose name I can
not disclose for security reasons until we open up communication.
I shall be grateful if you could receive this fund into your
bank account for safekeeping and for any Investment opportunity
I ask that you do not be vindictive and destructive. If my offer is of no appeal to you,
delete this message and forget that I have ever contacted you.
Do not destroy my family reputation because you do not approve of my proposal.
Reply To firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Suzanne Mubarak