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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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 us 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 "dying widow" scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs.Marina C.Paulson" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 14 Jan 2022 13:23:09 -0800
Subject: Greetings My Dear Friend,
Greetings My Dear Friend,
My name is Mrs.Marina C.Paulson, the wife of Late Mr. Alfred Paulson from
Uk, I am 70 years old, My husband worked with the Central Bank Of Morocco
for twenty two years before he died in the year 2012. We were married for
thirty-seven years without a child. My Husband died after a brief illness
that lasted for only four days before his death we were both born again
Christians. Since his death I decided not to re-marry or get a child
outside my matrimonial home. When my late husband was alive he deposited
the sum of $2.5 million US Dollars with SunTrust Bank in Morocco.
Now that I have been diagnosed with an ailment which medically have been
confirmed to end my life on earth soon as prescribed by my personal medical
doctor and I have been placed on bed rest.With few more months to spend in
life I have decided to will/donate the sum of 2.5 million US Dollars to
charity for the upkeep of orphanages and widows in your care through your
experience and faithfulness as recommended by Aisha Muhammad, while the
remaining part of the donation will be given to the churches. If you are
willing to take up this intention of mine for charity since you have more
experience on welfare management through my Bank manager who is aware of my
will, Then you will contact him after I would have given him your name if
you accepted. so that he can arrange the funds to you by you quoting my
personal file No. X7XXH5R494P to him and I have also notified the bank that
I am willing the funds out for charity purpose.
Please note that I will be more relaxed to give out this responsibility to
you if you can also send me the name of the charity organization or
orphanage home you know that will need this kind gesture.Please you have to
utilize this money the way I am going to instruct herein, I want you to
take 30% of the total money for your personal use and 5% shall stand to
settle any expenses that may be incurred in the course of executing this
transaction, while the remaining 65% of the money goes to helping the
orphanage and less-privileged once as I wish dearly.
LASTLYâ Have it in your mind that it will take only 5 banking working days
to complete this transaction and transfer this money to you via bank wire
transfer. Thanks in advance for your voluntary acceptance to do the work as
you will be rewarded too and I want you to get back to me if you can handle
Contact me with this email id:( firstname.lastname@example.org ) immediately if you
can handle it.
Thanks and Regards,
Mrs. Marina C.Paulson