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:
- 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:
- "there are practically no risks involved" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Evans Coulibaly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 2 Jan 2017 17:04:28 +0000
I am requesting your assistance to partnership with me for investment in
your country, if you can assure me safety and trust of the funds as it
enters your country. I respectfully appreciate your time to go through this
proposal. My name is Evans Coulibaly from Cote D' Ivoire, Ivory Coast. I
discovered your contact through comprehensive web email search on directory
so I decided to contact you. I know this might sound like scam to you
because of the activities going on in the internet today. But I assure you
that this is not a joke and I know you are capable to handle this project.
So I write you this letter in good faith as it pleases you.
Hence, I have a Transaction of Twenty Eight Million Great Britain Pounds:
(28,000.000.00) in a bank for safe keeping for Investment purpose. So I
need a foreign trusted person who will help me to receive this funds in
your country for investment into any lucrative business to generate more
revenue. After the transfer, I will give you 30% of the money as your
If you accept my offer, but if you do not accept this offer kindly forget
that I contacted you, all I need is for you to get a good current account
where this fund can be transferred into and for you to stand as my Foreign
partner to receive the said amount; within three days the funds will be
transferred to your designated bank account.
There are practically no risks involved; it will be a bank-to-bank
transfer. I hope you understand my situation, I am critically ill that is
why I contacted you to finalize this transaction to enable me have a very
Absolutely, I am writing to seek your assistance as a faithful person to
stand and accept to receive this money in your country as my partner and my
co-beneficiary of this funds. If this request matches with your inward
intention for success and greatness, then you are urged to make a quick
response indicating your interest and readiness to participate and work
with me to make this successful.
I am waiting to hear from you.
Mr. Evans Coulibaly.