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How to send us copies of "419" and other fraud emails

We have received many emails from near-victims who backed out of a fake lottery or other advance fee scam or fraudulent business transaction after they did a search for an email address, name or phone number and came across it on our 419 blacklist. We publish such data to warn potential victims about such scams. The more scammers we can get listed, the more crimes will be prevented. You too can help!

If you've received what looks like a 419 spam (basically, any email from a stranger that promises an unexpected fortune), and the sender address does not yet appear on our list, you're welcome to send us a copy. Please make sure to include the five character string [419] in the subject line of the email. You can follow this with further details, such:

  • name of the fake lottery or other company
  • alias or email address of the criminal
  • telephone number of the criminal
  • for fraudulent purchases, sales offers or rentals, use the code word "Lagos"
  • for lottery postal mail from Spain, use the code word "letter" followed by your country
Here are some examples of subject lines that we prefer:
[419] Overseas Asset Management Ltd (Paul Hunt, Henry Lewis)
[419] MICROSOFT EMAIL LOTTERY INTERNATIONAL
[419] BARRISTER AHMED BELLO (234-8035319378)
[419] BARRISTER AHMED BELLO
[419] Lagos - james_robin1@hotmail.com
[419] Lagos
[419] letter - France
[419] letter
[419]

We strongly prefer mails that are submitted as an attached email. That way we will receive an exact copy of the mail you received, as an attachment. We will put that into our database and process it with our spamfilter, which not only lets us verify it looks like a real 419 mail, it also extracts the 419 sender address automatically and we can find out which email provider the criminals used and other information useful for tracking them.

How to report fraud using Outlook Express
If you are using Outlook Express, open or select the fraud email, then click "Message" and "Forward as Attachment". Type our address <419@419scam.org> into the To: field, use [419] and optional extra information as the subject (see examples above) and click the "Send" button.

How to report fraud using Yahoo mail
If you are using Yahoo mail, open the email, then click on the down-arrow on the right of the "Forward" button and select "As attachment". Type our address <419@419scam.org> into the To: field, use [419] and optional extra information as the subject (see examples above) and click the "Send" button.

How to report fraud using Incredimail

  • Use File / Save As to save the email somewhere on your hard disk (name doesn't matter).
  • Repeat previous step as necessary for multiple emails.
  • Create a new mail addressed to 419@419scam.org and attach the file(s) created in the previous steps.

Please do not use the normal "Forward" function of your email program, if possible. Please also don't paste emails to Word documents. If you do not know how to forward an email as an attachment or none of this makes any sense to you, use the normal "Forward" function but make sure to include the five character string [419] in the message subject. If you do use the "Forward as attachment" function, you should still mark the message subject as [419].

Note: If you forward a 419 scam mail in the body of your email to us (inline forward) without marking the subject then in some cases the mail is indistinguishable by software from a real 419 email. It may get intercepted by our filter because it looks too much like spam from a spammer. You sure don't want that to happen, because in effect you would have accidentally submitted your own email address to the blacklist ;-)

Therefore, submit the mail as an attachment and/or mark the subject and you'll be safe!

You should also report 419 scam addresses to the abuse-department of the email provider they used. In addition, you can contact law enforcement or appropriate government institutions in your country. See the following for more details:

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