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:
- 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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- 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: "Mrs Llana Shneor" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 7 Aug 2016 18:41:00 -0700
Subject: Re: Hope for Investment..
How are you and your family, My name are Mrs Llana Shneor, am deeply apologize to write you in this condition" on 9 of September 2015 I was diagnosed with deadly cancer which I thought money will save my life on-till date my doctor told me yesterday they will be no room for life again.
I am desperately in need of assistance and I have summoned up courage to contact you. I must say that I am very uncomfortable sending this message to you without knowing truly if you would misunderstand the importance and decides to go public. In this regards, I will not hold back to say that the essence of this message is strictly for mutual benefit between you and me and nothing more.
I am presently in sick bed waiting for the last call from God, I found your contact particulars in an internet address journal. I am seeking your assistance to evacuate the sum of $20,570,000(Twenty million Five Hundred and Seventy Thousand USD) to Asia, Europe and African for Charity work,to save more life and people in need right around the world.
I need your urgent attention is needed but remember is 100% risk free.
I look forward to read from you soonest.
Mrs Llana Shneor
PLEASE REPLY ME ON THIS EMAIL: email@example.com