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:
- "million united states 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)
- "million united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Robert Malomo" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 15 Jul 2011 08:31:37 -0400
Subject: Business Proposition...
Attn: Proposed Partner,
I write asking for your indulgence in re-profiling funds, which we want to keep under your supervision. The Fund totaled Twenty Million United States Dollars. I am only contacting you as a foreigner because this fund cannot be approved to a local Bank here in South Africa, because the fund is in US Dollars. The owner of this account was MR. WILLIAM BARNES, an America, who died with his wife along with 990 passengers in an Egyptian airline crash in 1999. You can confirm this from the website below publisher by CNN WEBSITE PUBLISHED ON CNN.
I propose Eight Million United State Dollars (Forty Percent) for you while my colleagues and I receive Ten Million United State Dollars (Fifty Percent) and the balance of Two Million United State Dollars (Ten Percent) earmarked for purposes of taxation in your country and mine. If you are interested, send your name and telephone/fax numbers to me for further details. Kindly contact me on the above confidential email, telephone or fax. Thank you and God Bless,
Auditor FNB Bank Jhb