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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Hotmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Barr Umenume Fidelis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 22 Feb 2017 17:12:00 +0100
Subject: Good Day
I am a UK licensed broker seeking to refer a commercial client looking
for Funding.If you are interested to receive a low interest loan for
commercial businesses such as Start-Ups, Expansion, Buy-Out, Real
Estate, Renewable Energy, IT, Entertainment, General Aviation
Equipment Army Defense Equipment's & Weapons, Financial Banks,
Industry, City and Traffic Security Management Systems, Water Waste
Systems, Electric, Biomass Energy, Agriculture Projects, Ethanol, Oil
Power Plants and Thermal Power Plants Construction, etc;
Contact me with your address, phone, Full name in my
Please, let me know your proposal.
Barr Umenume Fidelis