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:
- 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:
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "cashier's check" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Dr. Bruno" <Bruno@bruno.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Feb 2019 14:25:41 +0100
Subject: compensation for your past effort
My Good friend,
Please accept this token offer from me as a compensation for your past effort as i did still succeeded in getting those funds transferred with the cooperation of a new partner from South Korea, I want you to contact my secretary on the information below as i did not forget your past effort and attempt at that time despite that you failed to conclude the transaction with me due to little misunderstandings.
So feel free to contact my secretary Mr.Lewis Mark to send you the Certified Cashier's Check I issued in your name some few days ago in the sum of ($200,000.00) which I kept for you as compensation for all your past efforts and attempt to assist me in the past transaction and give him the direction on where you want him to dispatch the Certified Cashier's Check to you safely and you should take care of the courier charges fees yourself since you could not conclude the transaction with me, i will not take care of the charges fees from my pocket.
Please let me know immediately you receive it so that we can share the joy together after all the sufferings at that time, at the moment, I'm very busy here with my new partner regarding the Investment project here in South Korea.
Name; Mr.Lewis Mark