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:
- "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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: "John Addo" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 16 Feb 2017 16:15:59 -0800
Please forgive me for my mail as you might not be in the best mood to receive this mail, I really need your urgent assistance/partnership, My name is Mr.John Addo a branch bank manager. I decided to contact you directly for an assistance and advice to invest in your country.
You may be surprise how did i got your contact,Well I got your contact through a reliable source called database through countries chambers of commerce.I am writing to solicit your support and partnership in the transfer of US$10,900,000.00 Dollars.
I am interested to transfer and invest in your country through your assistance and support only if you will be willing work with me. This money US$10,900,000.00 originated escrow account of late customer of the bank without a next of kin for over four (4)years now. I choose to seek your assistance because I cannot be directly involve because I am still working with the bank as a branch manager, I hope you can understand my situation why your assistance/partnership with me to receive and invest this money properly is urgently needed as I see this as an opportunity and hope for early retirement to private business.
Please kindly get back to me as soon as possible for more details EMAIL email@example.com but if you are not interested kindly ignore and move on thanks.
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