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:
- 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 beloved," (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Juan Groth" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2022 08:34:33 -0700
Subject: Dear Beloved.
I am Mrs. Juana Groth, an aged widow suffering from a long-time illness. I am writing this message to you with heavy tears in my eyes and great sorrow in my heart, because I am currently admitted in a private hospital here. I am a 78 years old woman.
I have some funds I inherited from my late loving husband, Mr. Francis Groth, the sum of $2,847,000.00 (Two Million Eight Hundred and Forty-Seven Thousand United States Dollars) which he deposited in a bank.
I need a honest person that can use these funds for Less Privileges, and 30% out of the total funds will be for your regulation of this work. I found your email address on the internet and decided to contact you.
I will tell you more about myself and my plans with this money when I hear back from you.
Mrs. Juana Groth.