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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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. Mary Hills" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 01:33:57 -0700
Subject: Re: From Mrs. Mary HillsI Really Need Your Help
From Mrs.Mary Hills
102 Sanusi fafuwa,
I know you might not remember me again as it has been a long time. My name is Mrs.Mary Hills.In order to transfer out (Fifteen million, five hundred thousand United States Dollars) from our Bank . I have the courage to look for a reliable and Honest Person who will be capable for this important business Transaction, believing that you will never let me down either now or in Future.
The owner of this account is Mr. David Hagen foreigner and the Manager Of petrol chemical service,a chemical engineer by profession and he died since 2005.the account has no other beneficiary And my Investigation proved to me as well that his company does not know anything About this account.
I want to transfer this money into a safe foreign account abroad with your HELP.I want you to be rest assured that this transaction is real and Genuine business.I believe in Allah(GOD) that you will never let me down in this transaction,at the conclusion of this business,you will be giving 40% of the total amount, 60% will be for me. I look forward to your earliest reply by email for more details: (email@example.com)