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:
- 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 pounds" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Lloyds TSB Bank." (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 11 Oct 2012 08:44:22 -0400
Subject: Fruitful business relationship request
I am Mr. Jim Ohara. I aim to place your name as the beneficiary to GBP9.7Million Pounds due to the death of a depositor who died many years ago along with her family.
The funds I am referring to is right here in my bank floating in suspense account, therefore I solicit for your cooperation to be in partnership with me to have this done, it will be transferred into an account you will provide anywhere in the world. I will need you to provide the following information urgently to enable the attorney start the processing of the all the relevant legal documents for the fund remittance.
Awaiting your quick response,
Mr. Jim Ohara.