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:
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Master Robert Schwarz." <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 30 Dec 2016 04:49:57 -0800
Subject: Good Day Sir
Good Day Sir,
My email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Master Robert Schwarz, 19yrs old Boy , a nationality of
Germany, schooling in Accra Ghana .I am the only
child/Son of late Mr/Mrs. Wilfred Schwarz who owns one of the big
company here in Accra Ghana .
My father was killed by food poisoning, he died few hours upon his
arrival from Pakistan for a meeting where he wanted establish
another company. Before my father gave up his last breath, he
disclosed to me that he deposited the sum of ($10.5 Million Dollars)
in one of the bank here in Accra Ghana in agreement with the bank
that the money will be transferred only to his or her investment
partner in abroad for an investment purposes, Few weeks after the
death of my father,his company and other commercial and private
properties was illegally claimed by his friends who was working with
my father those that killed him, now i am left with nothing except the
above mentioned inheritance money ($10.5 Million Dollars) with the
bank here Accra Ghana and this is because they don't have any idea
of the deposit money my father left with the bank here if not they
have killed me as the killed my father and claim the fund. Please keep
this very transaction top secret for security reason.
Master Robert Schwarz.