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:
- "million 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "00,000.00" (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.
- 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: "Axel IMF" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2017 09:21:11 -0800
Subject: CONTACT MIKE BROWN NOW
I am Axel Henry S. the newly-sworn Chair Secretary, International Monetary Organization South Africa. I have made it my first point of call since taking office
to settle all outstanding payments accrued to individuals/corporations with respect to local and overseas contract payment, debt re-scheduling and
outstanding compensation payment. This is to make sure all outstanding payments are settled before the end of the fiscal year 2017.
I have your file here in my office and it says that you are yet to receive your fund valued at $10,000,000.00 (Ten Million United States Dollars only). And the
money was deposited with Nedbank South Africa. Today I we made an arrangement with the CEO of the bank Michael William Thomas to transfer the fund to
you without any hitch.
Here is his contact details,
Contact Person: Michael W. Thomas
Phone :+27 612 545 370
Please contact him with your full information to help them process your payment;
(1) Full Names:
(2) Residential Address:
(3) Current Phone Number:
(5) Country of Residence:
Please, be sure you contact him directly to his email email@example.com, you won't get a reply.
Axel Henry S