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:
- "inheritance tax" (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- 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: "Mrs. Yoshiko" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 27 Jul 2012 01:19:19 -0000
Subject: RE: Hello Friend
My Name Is Mrs. Y. Ishii Taro, I am from Japan my father was into
real-estate lease business before he died in 2004. I am contacting
you in a view of the fact that we will be of great assistance to
each other like wise developing a cordial relationship. My self
along with my sister try hiding millions of dollars worth of cash
in our garage to evade about $27.8 million in inheritance taxes in
Japan.I have 2,061,681,295.50 JPY Japan Yen Equivalent to
$25,448,300.00 USD United States Dollars, which i intended to use
for investment purpose overseas.This money i saved in a private
erected security company safe. It is my lawyer and myself that know
where the money is kept. Due to the current situation in my country
concerning government attitude towards my family, it has become quite
impossible for us to make use of this money within, thus we seek your
assistance to transfer this money out of Japan. Bearing in mind that
your assistance is needed to transfer this fund, we propose a
commission of 21% Twenty One Percent of the total sum to you for the
expected service and assistance,If you are interested please reply
immediately with your full name and Phone number to my
private email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mrs. Y. Ishii Taro
____ KILL Mail Shield Gateway scanned ____