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.
- 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)
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr LAROUSSE" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:57:06 -0700
My name is Teddy LAROUSSE, former diplomat retired residing in FRANCE.I have 85 years old.I contact you for the purpose of make you a donation of my fortune to $1,500,000 USD that i tabled several years in my bank in BELGIUM country for more security because my doctor just tell me that am not be able to survive for more than 30 days.I decided to make this donation to a unknown person like you after my confession to the pastor of my church for the evil i have done in the past when I was in diplomacie activity.I am asking today forgiveness to Almighty God for all arms trafficking and the wars that my superiors and me had caused in several Countries.I find myself this day alone facing my destiny and I wish you all the happiness with this money without risk. My lawyer in this Country will help you to complete all formalities for you to transfer the funds into your bank. Please provide me the above information below so the Lawyer can contact you:
Name & surname:
Mobile phone number :
NB : I advise you to keep this confidential gift until the end of the procedure with my lawyer.Note that I made this gift without expecting in return.
MAY THE LORD PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILY