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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "lome togo" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Williams Success <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: Williams Success <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 24 Nov 2014 18:18:14 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: Dear Respectful One
Â Dear Respectful One,
My name is William Success i am 19years old from Central Africa republic(CAR). Please go through below my mail to see if you can assist me for our mutual benefit. My late father was a cocoa and gold business man. He died in motor accident with my mother one week after his trip Lome Togo to negotiate on a cocoa business he wanted to invest in. My mother died instantly and my father followed up five days after in the hospital. (May there soul rest in perfect peace) Before death of my father, he disclosed with me about sum ofÂ ($10, 400,000USD) Ten million four hundred thousand united states dollars,he deposited in a Bank with my name as next of kin, he wanted to invest this money in to Hotel Industries And Real Estate Building Management outside Africa. but I did not contact you specifically for the Hotel and real Estate Investment purposes only but to guide me in any foreign lucrative business of your choice.
I am a novice in terms of business and can not be able to handle investment of the money by myself and do not want to involve my relatives as instructed by my late father. that is why I solicit for your assistance to guard me invest this money as a partner under your care. If we happen to do this together, before any thing is done with the money, I will give you 30% of the total money as compensation for your assistance. I look forward to hear from you for more details if you are willing and able to handle this contact me on my private email(firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details