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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- 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.
- +447012958624 (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: John DaCosta <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 17 Feb 2021 01:52:38 -0800
Subject: Business Investment Proposal
I am re-sending my previous mail to you, i hope you do get it this time
around and understand its content fully.
I find it pleasurable to offer you my partnership in business. I am
contacting you briefly based on the Investment of Two Hundred Million
Dollars (US$ 200,000,000:00) in your country, as I presently have a
client who is interested in investing in your country. I find it
imperative to solicit for a partnership. Hence upon receipt of this
letter, I implore you to kindly respond and let me know how possible
it is to work with you in mutual partnership under the conditions
1. My client's fund is legal cash.
2. My client is willing to invest immediately.
3. My client will pay you a commission of 30% of the investment fund
for logistics and protocols.
4. My client desires absolute confidentiality in the handling and
management of this brief.
I must draw your attention to the fact that I have kept the
information's herein this letter stated brief; as I do not know if you
will receive this letter and or what your response will be, If you do
have the interest and the capability to partner with me under the
above stated conditions, I will appreciate your response sent back to
I will appreciate that you include a brief profile of your self and
your company for me to better appreciate your personality. I look
forward to your response and our partnership. Have a nice day.
J. DaCosta Investment Consultancy
Private Email Address: email@example.com
Telephone Number:+4470 1295 8624.