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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Miss Naya M Makhlouf" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 26 Dec 2016 10:18:19 -0500
Subject: - Gold And Diamonds Valued At Over $35M USD
My name is Miss Naya M Makhlouf I am 19yrs Old girl from Syrian, I am the only child of Hassan Mohammed Makhlouf, who was a business man and deals in Crude oil and gold and who was killed in 2012 and by all investigation it was planned by my uncle ( Mr Rami Makhlouf) who took over all his wealth and became the richest man in syria and with the help of his friend president of Syria .My father was secretly killed with my mother here in Syrian and the case closed till today which forced me to flee for my life.
I am contacting you to help me claim Diamonds and Gold Valued at Over $35M USD which my late father deposited in a safe keeping house before his death. Because of the war here, I cannot travel or leave here which also the boarders are closed now because of the area I am in now in Syria.
Please I will like you to assist me in claiming the Diamonds and Gold in the safe keeping house, Sell it, help me leave here to a safer country and help me invest my share of it as I am ready to give you 60% of the total value for your assistance. I want to assure you that you will not regret helping me.
I thank you and hope to hear from you soon
Miss Naya M Makhlouf
Please Write Me at My Private email ( firstname.lastname@example.org )