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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- 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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- "diplomatic courier" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Christian Joseph" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 13 Jul 2016 03:16:06 -0700
Subject: From Mr. Christian Joseph
I am. Mr. Christian Joseph and I am a US soldier attached to UN peace
keeping force in Syria. I am the commanding officer of the First
Battalion of the Royal US Regiment. AS you may know, everyday there
are several cases of insurgent attacks and suicide bombs going on
here. We have managed to move funds belonging to some demised persons
who were attacked and killed through these attacks. The total amount
is US$75 Million dollars in cash.
We want to move this money to you, so that you can help keep our
share for us until when we shall come over to meet you. My partner and
I will take 70%, while you take 25% and 5% shall be map out for
expenses that might be incurred in the cost of the transfer. No
strings attached! Just help us move it out of Syria which is a war
zone right now.
We plan on using UN Diplomatic courier and shipping the money out in
two large metallic Boxes, using diplomatic immunity. If you are
interested, I will send you the full details. My job is to find a good
partner that we can trust and who is ready to assist us. Can we trust
When you receive this letter, kindly send me an e-mail signifying your
interest including your most confidential telephone/fax numbers and
other contact details for quick communication. This business is risk
free. The boxes can be shipped out within 48hrs.Please If you are
Interested in assisting, kindly reply through this PRIVATE and
CONFIDENTIAL Email for further Documentations and briefing, E-mail:
Mr. Christian Joseph