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:
- "million dollars" (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: "William Christopher" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 16 May 2016 12:07:55 -0700
Subject: My name is Mr William Christopher.
My name is Mr William Christopher. I am Soliciting On-Behalf of a private Client of my bank, who holds a Government Position in his
Country and wishes to invest some funds $50Million (Fifty Million Dollars) in your country. I came across your data via a private
What You Will Be required to do;
 Provide a bank account where the funds will be transfer via Bank to Bank Transfer.
 Invest and Manage the Funds Profitably on His Behalf for a minimum of 6 years pending when he will be out of office in 2017.
 10% of the total fund will be for your assistance, while the balance of 90% will be for the investment
My Client is willing to negotiate Management Sharing Percentage after the confirmation of the funds in your account. I shall expect to hear
from you urgently as this is of high Priority. I shall make available to you all necessary documentations, directives and possibly arrange a
meeting prior to the commencement of the transaction at the bank where the funds is deposited.
Please fill the below form and send to me when replying.
Country of Origin:
Due to my clients reputation and the source of funds, we will appreciate if you treat this matter as top confidential. Please get back to me urgently on receipt of this message, I can be reached via the below number and email.
Mr William Christopher