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:
- 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)
- "hundred thousand us 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)
- ",500,000" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Vasip Sahin <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 23 Sep 2016 01:20:41 +0200
Subject: YOU ARE A SCAM VICTIM
TURKEY 3RD QUARTER SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION PROJECT
This is from the African Union (AU) Anti-fraud team in collaboration
With the Turkey Government (TK) in regards to the recent extensive raid
(arrests) on Internet scammers. Due to the high rate of complaints we
have been receiving from Turkey Government (TK) regarding the level of
Internet Scam/fraud operations by African/European nationalities. All
the Internet Service Providers had noticed the increased email traffic
originating from Africa and Europe to other continents.
So far, One hundred and six (106) scammers have been arrested and the
raid is still on and we need your total cooperation to achieve this. We
have recovered the total sum of US$302 million dollars from them in both
cash and Luxury assets confirmed to have come from their victims. As we
have found hundreds of thousands of email addresses of victims from
their address books. It is at this juncture that we are contacting you.
Note: That your E-mail i.d was indicated by the security intelligence
monitoring system as one of the victims of these syndicates who
specialize in Romance/ Online dating scams, contract award Payment, next
of kin Transfer and lottery scam operations, you are hereby warned not
to communicate or duplicate this message to anyone or who so ever, for
any reason what so ever, because the secret service is trailing these
The African Union (AU) with the Turkey Government (TK) is making
refunds of two million five hundred thousand us dollars (2,500,000) each
to 19 victims among whose email addresses were listed on the scammers
Hence You are required to provide us with the following information for
your immediate Compensation and refund.
Means of Identification( Driver's License of Int'l Passport
Email address: (re-confirm)
Please you can also write us a brief letter how you were being scammed.
Upon receipt of your reply and confirmation of the information, your
Compensation grant of two million five hundred thousand dollars will be
released via a Local Bank in your country 4 working days upon our
Prime Minister of Turkey
TK Welfare Unit
TK/AU SCAM VICTIMS COMPENSATION GRANT