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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Lilly Patrick <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 1 Apr 2022 01:53:19 +0100
Greetings, thanks for your reply.How are you doing? I hope you are
doing well.I write to you in good faith and hope that you will
understand the importance of my email. I hope you will never let me
down. My decision to contact you is because I was recently diagnosed
with Cancer and the doctor said I have less than 8 weeks to live.
Since this sudden news was announced to me,I have been reflecting over
my life in the past. It is painful that after over 24 years of
peaceful marriage With my late husband, we had a 23 yrs old son who
Died in an auto crash three years ago.
In the past, I have made reasonable donations to the victims of
Earthquake in Haiti and recently to the same victims in Japan and
Thailand and also support the victim of Boko Haram terrorist in
Western part of Africa, Now that my health is gradually deteriorating,
I cannot continue to do all these by myself any more.
I strongly desire to reach out to the poor and needy people, but I
would prefer to continue this with the assistance of a kind person.
I want you to answer the following questions:
(1) If I donate (US$6,500,000.00) Six Million Five Hundred Thousand
United States Dollars to you, will you be able to utilize it wisely to
achieve my heart's desire of supporting poor people around you?
(2)Will you open a charity foundation in the name of me and my husband?
Please write back as soon as possible.
Mrs Lilly Patrick