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:
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mike D. Adams" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 25 Nov 2016 22:54:32 +0100
Subject: Business proposal=112516=
Mike D. Adams..
Head of Dept. General Investigation/ICU
United Bank For Africa (UBA)
80A Adetokubo Ademola Str. VI
Subject: Beneficiary Sum Of US$17.9million
I Am Seeking For Your Cooperation To Present You To My Bank As The Next Of Kin To Late Richard Peterson So That The Sum Of USD17.9Million Will Be Pay To You As The Beneficiary
For Your Information, I Am The Director Investigation Internal Control Unit and Audit Department Of United Bank For Africa, The Board Of Directors Of United Bank Of Africa Mandated Me To Look For Any Known Relation's Of The Late Richard Peterson For Payment Of His Funds, He Left Behind With Our Bank In A Deposit Account As The Beneficiary, Since, After His Death 7/3/2014,However All My Efforts Traces Abortive, That Is The Main Reason I Am Writing You This To Ask For Your Cooperation For Us To Claim This Money, Since He Is A Citizen/Nationality Of Your Country .I Only Have To Approve You, This Fund Will Be Pay To You As The Beneficiary. We Are To Share This Money Between Ourselves (You And I).I Have All The Documents We Needed To Back Up This Claim Legally.
If You Are Really Interested In This Offer You Should Contact Me Through This Email Address Only: ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) For More InformationAnd Procedure.
Note That This Is Absolutely Risk Free Business, This Transaction Will Commence Immediately There Is Interest From You.I Await Your Response.
Mike D. Adams