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)
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: "Mrs. Jenny Tasky" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 1 May 2016 18:36:05 +0100
Subject: Dear PARTNER, I have transferred those FUNDS and here is your compensation
Hope all is well with you and your family, I am using this
opportunity to thank you for your great effort to our unfinished
transaction, I am sorry for presenting and using someone else in your
name to get that transaction successful and finished, due to logistic
reasons and your inconsistency towards the transaction. Right now I
want to inform you that I have successfully cleared the check/fund to
someone else account in London who was capable of assisting me in this
great venture that have been over and successful.
Due to the effort, sincerity, courage and trustworthiness you showed
at the course of this transaction, I want to compensate you and show
my gratitude to you with the sum of (US$850,000.00) Eight Hundred and
Fifty Thousand United State Dollars only. I have authorized my account
manager in Accra republic of Ghana (MR DANU STANLEY) whom I deposited
the international certified bank draft with to send you.
Contact Mr. Danu Stanley for the collection of this international
certified bank draft. His name and contact address is as follows:
Mr. Danu Stanley
At the moment I'm very busy here in the United Kingdom because of the
investment projects which my new partner and I are having at hand.
Finally remember that I have forwarded instructions to Mr. Danu on
your behalf to send the bank cheque to you as soon as you contact him.
Please I will like you to accept this token with good faith as this is
from the bottom of my heart, Thanks and God bless. Hope to hear from
you as soon as you receive the compensation.