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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "might come to you as a surprise" (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.
- 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: "Murit Akol" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Nov 2010 09:16:32 -0000
Although this E-mail might come to you as a surprise, since it is coming from someone you do not know or have seen before. My name is Miss Murit Akol from Southern Sudan - Africa. I am 5.6ft tall, dark in complexion, 24 years old and never married before. I hold a certificate in general nursing. Presently I am residing in the United Nations Refugee camp here in Kumasi - Ghana as a result of the civil war that has been going in my country. My late father Dr. Garang Akol was a very big business man and he was also executive secretary of the ruling party Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) before the rebels attacked our house one early morning and killed my mother and my father in cold blood. It was only me that is alive now and I managed to make my way - with the help of the United Nations Mission In Sudan (UNMIS) - to Kumasi - Ghana where I am leaving now in the United Nations refugee camp. I would like to
know more about you, your likes and dislikes, your hobbies and what you are doing presently. I will tell you more about myself in my next E-mail. Please reply to this email address : email@example.com
Miss Murit Akol .