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:
- ",000,000" (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.
- 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: "CITIBANK . citibank@" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 20 Jul 2016 14:40:38 -1200
Subject: *****SPAM***** FROM JESSICA WEST.. Ctitibank
You have been shortlisted to Receive US$18,000,000 IMF BENEFIT PAYMENT due to the recent Economic calamity that befalls the world stock market, this benefit amount is meant to help people to get of standard and help the world Economic growth. Meanwhile we have open an account for you and deposited the fund with us here in Citibank Private Online in United States
Reconfirm the below information immediately for fund release procedure.
1. Full Names:
3. Phone Number:
Let me repeat again, try to contact us immediately you receive this mail to avoid any further delay and remember to funish us with the needed information above. The Year is almost ending and if you fail to act fast, your fund wil be among those that will be confiscated by the States Treasury as dormant and abandon fund.
SEND TEXT MESSAGES OR CALL: 718-504-6541
This email has been checked for viruses by Avast antivirus software.