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:
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million pounds" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "JOHN MARK" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 24 Apr 2016 16:44:49 +0200
Subject: MESSAGE FROM MARK'''REPLY
I am Mr John Mark,am a staff of exxonmobil oil,here in the united kingdom
we are soliciting for your assistance to assist us receive the below stipulated
amount in your account oversea,the said amount emanated from over invoice contract,
though the contracted had since been paid leaving the over invoice sum in one of the
Having gone through your company's profile, it is assumed that your immense experience
will be useful,hence this timely request to assist us in the transfer of ( ?5.2 million
Pounds Sterling) and subsequent investment in properties in your country.
You will be required to send the below information via same mail box
(1) Your bank account number
(2) The name of your bank
(4) A valid identification of yours,either two pages of your international pass port or
copy of your driver's license
If you decide to render your service to us in this regard,we shall appreciate negotiating
terms as to accrued benefits of the total sum of ( ?5.2 million Pounds Sterling) will be
for you. Send information such as personal telephone/fax number
For Further Details,You Can Reach Me On +44 -7045728892