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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "James Manfred" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2017 15:29:19 -0800
Subject: Re: Congratulations...
I have discovered this confiscated financial portfolio with the Government in your name, pending claims. The complicated status of portfolio in question is due to red flag raised based on irregular banking methods adopted by culprits to divert $22,500,000 (Twenty Two Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) for selfish intentions.
Your case file was being processed during the last financial quarter of 2016 by our foreign operations manager who has been transferred at this time so I will be taking charge once you are in line with our operations.
I have been mandated to process and release same, kindly revert to me and let me know if your email address is still valid at this time.
I am waiting on your response so I can brief further in details.