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.
- 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: Safia Farkash <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 3 Jan 2017 14:26:33 +0100
Subject: I am contacting you in confidence,
I am Safia Farkash and I am contacting you in confidence with firm
believed that you will not betray me as a fellow faithful, meanwhile I
am contacting you in respect of US$72,970,000.00 belonging to my late
husband Colonel Gaddafi which he deposited in a security firm in
Europe for safekeeping before his sudden death.
Meanwhile since after his death a lot of my late husband wealth and
funds scattered all over the world are being seize by the United
Nations and the United States of America, so I contacted you in a good
faith with the intention to use your name to secure the sum of
US$72,970,000.00 from a security firm in Europe which I will disclose
the details of the transaction to you once we reach an agreement, so
if you are interested to work with me just get back to me via my
private email ID :(firstname.lastname@example.org) for more details, I
promise to offer you 25% of the money involved,while 70% will be for
me while 5% shall be set aside to take care of any expense that might
occur in the course of transferring the funds to you as the rightful