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.
- 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:
- "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: "Alimata Sawadogo" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Dec 2015 23:07:14 +0800
Subject: Please i need your help,
Greetings My Dear Friend,
My name is Miss Alimata Sawadogo ,
25yrs old single female never married, Iím from Kenya in East Africa. My
father was the former Kenyan road Minister. He and Assistant Minister
of Home Affairs Lorna Laboso had been on the Cessna 210, which was
headed to Kericho and crashed in a remote area called Kajong, in western
Kenya. I lost my father on that day faithful day, Secondly because of
the political crisis and bomb explosions with kidnapping from the rebels
in Africa, Mostly what happened at the university on the date 02 April
2015, Somali militants burst into a university in eastern Kenya on
Thursday and killed nearly 150 students, In Nigeria More than 300 girls
were kidnapped students girls are still missing by the Boko Haram bad
stories every day by day ,I am afraid to continue my life and studies in
Kenya ,Please I need your help to take me out from here to a better
place where I will settle and study, I am now in a nearby country call
Burkina Faso (West Africa) through the help of the United Nations, peace
keeping committee that visited Kenya.
I am contacting
you because I want you to stand as my guardian and Trustee in the
management of a sum of $3.2 Million u.s dollars that my late father left
for me before he died. I am the only Child and I am ever ready to offer
you 30% for your kind assistant in receiving these fund from the bank
also you will invest the fund , Mostly you will recommend a good
university where I will continue my studies; I will give you more
details and the reply from the bank on my arrival here to find how the
fund can be release to me as the next of Kin, Already I have been in
communication with the bank through email before coming Burkina Faso, I
have presented the documents with me to the bank, I am now in A mission
refugee camp here in Burkina Faso to hide myself and wait for the
transfer, I hope you will read and understand my present situation also I
pray God will touch your heart to help me out from here , Please take
me as part of your family or your daughter, the fund is legally
deposited also will be legally transferred to your bank account, I will
send my passport as soon as I read from you indicating your seriousness
in helping me out from here to a better place where I will start a new
life and complete my studies, Sincerely Yours,Miss Alimata Sawadogo.
Please send reply to this Email:( email@example.com) for more