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:
- "required fee " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr William C. Dudley" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2016 01:27:09 -0700
Subject: Dead Or Alive
How are you doing? Well,in our record.A message was to sent to you regarding your package of $11,000 000 000 but unfortunately,you never responded..
But today,we got a message from one Mrs Lisa Cruise who told us that you were involved in an automobile accident and you are dead, and you have appointed her to be your next of kin and she has make up every arrangement to receive the package after meeting up with the required fee of $350 to have the package containing your ATM CARD shipped to her.
So right now,we are using this opportunity to confirm if you are still alive to claim your funds..If i don't hear from you in less than 24hours,then i would have no choice than forward the funds to Mrs Lisa Cruise who claimed to us to be your Next of Kin..
Hope to hear from you ASAP .
Mr William C. Dudley.