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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "there is no risk involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "remain blessed" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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. Esther Deborah Parr" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 11 Dec 2022 10:35:02 +0200
Subject: I Hope You Reply.48
Kind Regards to You and Your Family!!!
With honor and respect to you and your family, I am writing to you from the deepest part of my heart regardless of my situation in the hospital bed here; because you are my only hope.
This is important and urgent, that is my reason for contacting you, but however; kindly reply quickly enough before anything happens to me. I have initially sent you messages twice to this particular email address in the past week but, I am yet to receive your reply. It would be good if you could kindly let me know whether this email address of yours is still active and working by replying to this message and the request I am making herein below, as it is very urgent.
Actually, the reason I tried severally to reach you is because, I am willing to DONATE and change my WILL to your names to benefit this sum of USD$20.5, Twenty Million, Five Hundred Thousand dollars ($20,500,000USD), for the help of the less privileged and homeless and old age people as well as the needy in your country and other countries of your choice, of which you will be responsible in taking care of the disbursement and sharing of this money to organizations that I will appoint in due course. Meanwhile, you will also get 30% of the money which will amount to the sum of; Six million, One hundred Thousand ($6,150,000USD) as your compensation for helping me in the fulfillment of this desire of donation and Godly good work to humanity.
I am Mrs. Esther. D. Parr I was born in the state of Ohio-USA. I am legally married to Mr. Hilary Hendricks Parrboat, a South Africa citizen brought up in Switzerland, where we married and lived for 22 years before we returned to South Africa in 2002 after my husbands retirement. I am 72 years of age by the grace of God, but we did not have any child even after 8AFcmXsQttSXuBeYCL9fpa2rn5JrDwwoihMerrwF48V7Ar1EKNTZyGa6G2tMFMhEZNEReroTLe2gPSMQw6VZLSD65AyBqzDI want to donate to your care emancipated from the deposit he made with the bank here is Republic of South Africa and for this purpose as well, so you have nothing to worry about as there is no risk involved in this project and transfer of the fund to your account.
Kindly and quickly do your best to get back to me as soon as possible once you receive this message, because my health condition in the hospital here is critical and I do not have much hope to live longer as the doctors' reports have indicated; the cancer (leukemia) has overwhelmed my body system and blood stream. It is really critical and painful for me as I am speaking to you, I will be undergoing an intensive blood transfusion next week and I do not know my hope of surviving it, so please reply quickly for this project and transfer of the fund to be started immediately by my banker.
The Grace of GOD Almighty, be with you and your family as I wait for your quick response to this message providing to me your direct phone numbers, for more verbal conversations.
Kindly reply quickly to this email and equally call me if you can.
I wait for your urgent reply as you remain blessed.
Mrs. Esther D. Parrboat.