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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: Simon Dornoo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Dec 2014 03:24:00 -0800
Subject: please confirm
I am a -established consultant in the sub -region West -
Africa,handling a wide range of trade and investment matters. Just
recently,I was consulted and and mandated by a top retired Politician
who, wants his identity to be confidential until the the beginning of
this project, to source for him:
1. A country that is politically stable that has an excellent climate.
2. A top personality by whom investment on a large scale could be handled.
My client has US$45.5M to invest in your country on viable projects in
your care on trust based on my recommendation due to your position.
Your main responsibility is to ensure the the total evacuation of the
funds from Ghana where it is secured at the moment.
Should you however be in a position to secure these funds and to
handle the investment desire of my client, please notify me as a
matter of urgency so that I can give the details and also arrange for
an early meeting where we shall discussed among others, investment
areas, evacuation or transfer of the funds and above all the
Please note that this transaction is confidential and should be
treated as such.Expecting your early response via my private