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:
- "million 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)
- 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.
- +447031936936 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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: "Pedro Quezada" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 10 Apr 2013 07:09:35 +0100
Subject: This is a personal email directed to you.
This is a personal email directed to you.
compliment of the day, I am Mr. Pedro Quezada, i won a Jackpot Lottery of $338 million
dollars ($338 million), and I and my family have voluntarily decided to donate the sum of One Million dollars ($1.million) to you as part of our own charity project to support child safety and upbring and Improve the standard of motherless children, and aid low imcome parents around the world give their children quality education, because i had dificulties with the support loan grant i got for my child the moment i won my powerball lottery, as I speak my child case is before the court. And am doing this to tell the world that helping a child shouldn,t be seen as a profitable project but be seen as charity to the needy children around the world.
If you have received this email then you are one of the lucky recipients and all you have to do is get back to us so that
We can send your details to the payout bank. You can verify this by
Visiting the web pages below.
Mr. Pedro Quezada