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 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)
- "monrovia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "liberia" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Davis Duke" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 25 Sep 2014 21:15:42 +0000
*Hello Dear, *
* I am requesting your assistance to partnership with me for investment in
your country, if you can assure me safety and trust of the funds as it
enters your country. I respectfully appreciate your time to go through this
proposal. My name is Mr. Davis Duke from Monrovia, Liberia. I discovered
your email through comprehensive web email search on directory so I decided
to contact you. I know this might sound like scam to you because of the
activities going on in the internet today. But I assure you that this is
not a joke and I know you are capable to handle this project. So I write
you this letter in good faith as it pleases you. My *
*deceased father deposited the sum of Forty Eight Million Dollars
($48,000.000.00) in a bank for safe keeping. So I need a foreign trusted
person who will help me to invest this funds into any lucrative business to
generate more revenue for us. Absolutely, I am writing to seek your
assistance as a faithful person to stand and accept to receive this money
in your country as my foreign partner and my co-beneficiary of this funds.
If this request matches with your inward intention for success and
greatness, then you are urged to make a quick response indicating your
interest and readiness to participate and work with me to make this
successful. I am looking forward to hear from you. Kind regards, Mr. Davis