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:
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "god fearing " (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "MAJ. CHRISSY COOK" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 24 Feb 2022 16:00:02 +0100
Subject: GREETINGS FROM MAJOR. CHRSSY COOK. PLEASE I NEED YOUR SINCERE ASSISTANCE.
My name is Major Chrissy Cook. I'm an American soldier, am currently
still serving in Iraq for ICU NURSE AT THE COMBAT SUPPORT HOSPITAL AT
CAMP SPEICHER in the United State Army and providing adequate security
for the US embassy in Baghdad . I'm seeking your kind assistance to
move the sum of US$14.5Million to you as far as I can be assured that
my share will be safe in your care until I complete my service, this
is no stolen money, and there is no danger involved. I'm presently in
a hospital recovering from injuries Sustained in a suicide bomb
attack, that took place during our combat with some ISIS Militant, I
have successful move the Fund out of Iraq to South Africa, the fund is
currently with a security Company, I am contacting you because you
might be a God fearing person that is willing to be involve with this
transaction and I am willing to share the money with you. I am sending
you this email message from the hospital where I am currently admitted
for treatment and you should keep this information confidential
between you and me only. You've been wondering how I got your email
address. I got from the global online yellow page God will bless you
as you help me.
Some money in various currencies was discovered in barrels at a
farmhouse near one of Saddam's old palaces in Tikrit-Iraq during a
rescue operation while I was still serving in Iraq some years ago and
it was agreed by Sgt.Duff and I that some part of this money be shared
among both of us before informing anybody about it since both of us
saw the money first. This was quite an illegal thing to do, but I tell
you what? No compensation can make up for the risk we have taken with
our lives. Please view website for confirmation;
The above figure was given to me as my share, and to conceal this kind
of money became a problem for me, so with the help of a British
contact working with us and his office enjoy some immunity, I was able
to move the money to a security company in SOUTH AFRICA as a
diplomatic baggage. They are now waiting for us to provide the name of
the beneficiary who they will transfer the funds to. The reason I want
you to claim the funds on my behalf is that as a soldier, I cannot
present concrete evidence on how I made such a big amount of money.
The moment I'm sure that you will assist me, I will let you know where
I'm currently receiving treatment and I will also give you the
information of the security company and the security code of the
baggage. I want you to tell me how much you will take from this money
for the assistance you will give to me. One passionate appeal I will
make to you is not to discuss this matter with anybody, should you
have reasons to reject this offer, please and please destroy this
message as any leakage of this information will be too bad for me. I
do not know how long I will remain here at the hospital, I honestly
want this matter to be resolved immediately, please contact me as soon
as possible, All correspondence must be by my Private mail address
E-mail : ( email@example.com )
Thanks for your anticipated cooperation and my regards to your family.
US Army Baghdad Iraq .