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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- ",500,000" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Alicia Collins <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2022 18:03:54 -0800
Subject: Hello my dear
Hello my deaer,
With due respect to your person and much sincerity of purpose I wish
to write to you today, seeking for your urgent assistance in this
humanitarian social investment project to be establish in your country
for the mutual benefit of the orphans and the less privileged ones,
haven't known each other or met before, I know that everything is
controlled by God as there is nothing impossible to him. I believe
that you and I can cooperate together in the service of the Lord,
please open your heart to assist me in carrying out this benevolent
project in your country/position. I am Mrs.Alicia Collins, a dying
widow hospitalized undergoing treatment for brain tumor disease, I
believe that you will not expose or betray this trust and confidence
that I am about to entrust to you for the mutual benefit of the
orphans and the less privileged ones. My late husband made a
substantial deposit with the Bank which I have decided to hand over
and entrust the sum of ($ 12,500,000.00 Dollars) in the account under
your custody for you to invest it into any social charitable project
in your location or your country. Based on my present health status I
am permanently indisposed to handle finances or any financial related
This is the reason why I decided to contact you for your support and
help to stand as my rightful beneficiary and claim the money for
humanitarian purposes for the mutual benefits of the less privileged
ones. Because If the money remains unclaimed with the bank after my
death, those greedy bank executives will place the money as an
unclaimed Fund and share it for their selfish and worthless ventures.
However I need your sincerity and ability to carry out this
transaction and fulfill my final wish in implementing the charitable
investment project in your country as it requires absolute trust and
devotion without any failure. Meanwhile It will be my pleasure to
compensate you with part of the total money as my Investment
manager/partner for your effort in handling the transaction, while the
remaining amount shall be invested into any charity project of your
choice there in your country.
Your early response will be appreciated to enable me to send you
further details and the bank contact details where the fund has been
deposited for you to contact the Bank for immediate release and
transfer of the fund into your bank account as my rightful
Thank you very much for your kind consideration and I wish you well
and God enlighten you in this social humanitarian project.
Best regards and God bless you.
Sincerely Mrs.Alicia Collins.