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.
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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:
- "remain blessed" (scammers in West Africa like to use religious phrases)
- 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: "Paul Harrison" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 8 Oct 2015 12:20:20 +0100
Subject: Present situation at hand.
My Dear ,
I seek for your consent for a business project which i am sure will benefit both us.There was a foreign contractor-Mr.Budi who did a contract here but unfortunately he was poisoned to death by a prostitute.Until now,non of his apparent heir,relations or business associate has come up to put claim over this unpaid contract funds and if nobody comes up and put claim over this fund,our authority shall recall it back into their treasury account as unclaimed bill which they will share among themselves due to their greedy purposes.
I want you to partner with me so we can move this fund into your country which we shall re-invest into a lucrative business under your noble supervision, believing that you will not cheat on me as this fund goes into your possession before i proceed to your country for my own share.Please do not take this for granted,revert back for more details.
Contact email : firstname.lastname@example.org