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:
- "transaction is risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "email@example.com" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- 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.
Fraud email example:
From: FROM BANK OF TOGO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 28 Sep 2019 11:21:33 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: IF YOU ARE INTERESTED GET BACK TO ME SOON
I am Mr. kouame Eugean a staff in Bank here in Togo in west Africa one
Of our customer from your country who used to work with shell development
Company here in republic of Togo. On the 21st of April 2017, my client,
His wife and their only daughter were involved in auto crash here in
My country. I decided to contacted you so that the $10.5M he left
Behind in our bank ,the funds will be transfer to your bank account in your
country ,immediately we confirm from you. Be rest assured that this transaction
Is risk free
1.) Your full names,
2.) Your Address,
3.) Your private telephone number,
4.) And a copy of your ID or passport
5.) Your age,occupation
Mobile +228 96797148
Mr. kouame Eugean