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:
- "your urgent reply" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- 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: "Hull Foster" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 4 Sep 2016 05:48:17 -0700
Subject: Please see if you do this with me
I want to seek for your assistance,Though i have to start with the introduction of myself to you,i am Hull Foster,a merchant in Dubai,Arab Emirate.I have been diagnosed with Cancer which was discovered very late,due to my laxity in caring for my health.Though the Doctors are really doing their best now and i know that am responding back to treatment this time.
Now my business has crumbled and my extended family members are taking advantage of my illness and Non of them bothered to care about my age Mother or neither do they care about me. i have vow never to do anything with them because of their selfish interest.
My Plead is that you Help me to receive my Inheritance fund of $4.5m in a finance firm to your account so that we can invest it in my business in your country? Though my business was actually Oil and Gas,i also engage little in agriculture and real Estate, but if you have a better idea on a good and lucrative business that one can invest on in your country, you can equally introduce that to me,If you have an idea to run this business in your Country probably we can initiate a better ideas.I will set aside 40% for you for your time and efforts as we go into this venture.
I need your urgent reply on this so that I will not have to go on sourcing for another credible person to handle this project.If you are okay with the condition, Please do not hesitate to send me mail via (firstname.lastname@example.org} so that i can furnish you up with all the information needed.
I wish to hear from you soon.
God bless you.