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:
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- "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.
- 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: "Joseph Tan" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Jul 2011 00:47:21 +0800
Subject: HI FRIEND...
Dear Partner ,
I am Joseph I. Tan 72year old From United State of American formal Finance Director of J B Trucks Company , My company had business with BP where i
made $8.600,000 usd ( Eight Million Six Hundred United state dollars) out of my company knowledge which i legally place this fund in International bank
in Malaysia , because of my illness and security in my country i cant direct this fund to my personal account rather i want you to assist me to receive
The Bank is ready to dispatch it pending on when i present benefiaciry. If you can help me in this transaction, i will compensate you with 30% of the
total amount and you will also get benefit from the investment" If there is any kind of agreement that you would like us to have , let me know so that i
can start working on for i would like this transaction to be concluded as quick as possible.
Thanks and best regards
Joseph I. Tan