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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Tatyana Bespalko <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2023 01:13:44 -0700
Hello, how are you today?
I want to entrust some funds in your care for a charity project in your
I am a cancer patient, married to late Mr. Pavel Edwards Bespalko who died
recently from CoronaVirus disease. He deposited the sum of US$4.8 Million
in a bank. My health condition has deteriorated and I have decided to hand
over my late husband's investment fund to you to take care of the less
privileged and majorly on corona virus victims.
I will direct you more on how to use the money when you get back to me,
meanwhile 30% of the fund shall be yours if you agree to carry it out.
Please let me know if you can handle it.
Mrs. Tatyana Bespalko.