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:
- "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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: rosemaryw williams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Reply-To: rosemaryw williams <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2016 10:43:31 +0000 (UTC)
Subject: FROM:Miss.Rosemaryw William.
Â FROM:Miss.Rosemaryw William.
In a brief introduction,
I am Rosemaryw William (26 y.ears) the only surviving child of late Dr.Raymond William. I am in possesion of some documents covering the
deposit of US$5. Million (Five million dollars) which my late father
deposited in one of the bank in ABIDJAN the Capital city of COTE
I have verified the transaction with the bank here and it's authencity
is clear. This fund is of no criminal origin as it was realised from
sales of the alluvial gold dust.
I am soliciting for your kind assistance in retrieving and claiming
this fund from the bank here as my father's business associate and
have it transferred to your account in your country for investment.
You will also serve as the guardian to this fund as i'm not at all
knowledgeable in the international business world. I will give you
further details as soon as I hear from you, and we will discuss terms
and percentage subsequently but you must treat as highly confidentail.
I await for your response.you can email me(firstname.lastname@example.org)