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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Kate Martins <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 03:38:43 -0800
Subject: Donation from Mrs Kate Martins
Donation from Mrs Kate Martins
I am Mrs Kate Martins an ageing widow suffering from long time
illness. I am writing this mail to you with heavy tears in my eyes and
great sorrow in my heart because I am currently admitted in a private
hospital, am 58years old Woman I have some funds I inherited from my
late loving husband Mr. Wright Martins, the sum of $3.500.000 (Three
Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars) which he deposited in bank here
I need a honest person that can use these funds for less privilege's,
and 30 % out of the total funds will be for your regulation of This
work, I found your email address from the internet and decided to
I will tell you more about myself and my plans with this money when I
hear back from you.
Mrs Kate Martins.