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:
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Martins Newton <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 08:40:20 -0800
Subject: REQUEST FOR ASSISTANCE,
IT IS MY HUMBLE PLEASURE TO WRITE YOU THIS LETTER IRRESPECTIVE OF THE FACT
THAT YOU DO NOT KNOW ME. I GOT YOUR CONTACT DURING MY SEARCH FOR A RELIABLE
AND TRUSTWORTHY PERSON THAT CAN HANDLE SUCH A CONFIDENTIAL TRANSACTION OF
I AM ATTORNEY MARTINS NEWTON, A FAMILY LAWYER TO THE FAMILY OF LATE
PRESIDENT JOHN POMBE MAGUFULI THE LATE TANZANIA PRESIDENT WHO DIED OF COVID
19 AT THE AGE OF 61 ON THE 18TH OF MARCH 2021. VISIT THIS LINK FOR THE
DEATH INFO (https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-56437852)
MRS. JANET MAGUFULI THE WIFE OF THE LATE PRESIDENT CALLED ME RECENTLY TO
INFORMED ME ABOUT THE FUND US$19,700,000.00 THE HUSBAND DEPOSITED WITH A
FINANCIAL HOUSE FOR SAFE KEEPING IN UNITED KINGDOM WHICH SHE WILL LIKE TO
INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY.
SHE HAS APPROACHED ME TO GET A RELIABLE PERSON WHO WILL CLAIM THE MONEY ON
HER BEHALF FROM THE FINANCIAL HOUSE FOR INVESTMENT IN OVERSEA. IF YOUR
CONDITION IS ACCEPTABLE, WE WILL PREPARE YOU AS THE BENEFICIARY AND
REASONABLE PERCENTAGE WILL BE GIVEN TO YOU.
NOTE THERE IS NO RISK INVOLVED BECAUSE I AM THE FAMILY LAWYER THAT MANAGES
AND OVERSEES THEIR BUSINESS IN UNITED KINGDOM THEREFORE, CONTACT ME ON MY
EMAIL AS STATED ABOVE. PLEASE IF YOU ARE NOT INTERESTED JUST DESTROY THIS
INFORMATION, AS THIS IS A TOP SECRET. WE SHALL BE PREPARED TO DO MORE
BUSINESS WITH YOU AT THE END OF THIS TRANSACTION.
I AWAIT YOUR URGENT RESPONSE.
REV MARTINS NEWTON