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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Jessy White" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 07:56:04 +0100
Subject: Re: GOOD NEWS CONTACT MY SECRETARY IMMEDIATELY
Good day to you and your family.I am happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds
transferred under the co-operation of a new partner from Belgium.Presently I am in Belgium for investment
projects with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I did not forget your past efforts and attempts you
made in getting your winnings sent to your delivery address, despite that it failed us some how Now contact
my secretary in Lagos his name is (Mr Mike Murdock), Find below his contact information.
Name: Mr Mike Murdock
Ask him to send you the total $550,000.00 (FIVE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND US DOLLARS) Across
Counter certified bank Check,which I raised in your favour for your compensation for all the past efforts you
have made in receiving your winnings in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at that time very,much. So feel
free and get in touched with my secretary and give him your address where to send the check to you.Please
do let me know immediately you receive the Check to enable us share the joy after all the sufferness at that
time. In the moment,I am very busy here because of the investment projects,which the new partner and me
are having at hand, finally,remember that I have forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to
receive that money. So feel free to get in touch with him (Mr Mike Murdock) without any delay.