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:
- 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:
- "huge amount of money" (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: "Tom Stein" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 23 Apr 2016 14:00:53 -0400
Subject: Please get back to me
Good day to you,
My name is Tom Stein, from London-United Kingdom. I have a private investment proposal for you, that involves a huge amount of money, if you are reliable and trustworthy as I am urgently looking for an honest foreigner outside the United Kingdom.
Though I know we are complete strangers but I'd like to get to know you better for this venture that will be of great benefit to you and also make more improvements to your finances! I want to invest the money under your care in any good and lucrative business in your country that you will introduce to me as I am still in active service here in the United Kingdom.
Please Ill need your urgent feedback so that I will not have to go on searching for another person to handle this on my behalf and I will be offering you 30% of the total fund if you are willing to receive and move the funds to your country for a private investment on my behalf.
Thank you and please email me for more details.