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:
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Customers Center" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 26 Feb 2017 15:23:52 -0800
Subject: RE: CLAIM
Gulf Interational Finance Centre
Plot 73, Ralph Shodeinde Street, Central Business District, Abuja Nigeria
The bank has finally made it easier for you today. They have decide to deliver your fund to you through Bank draft, or ATM MasterCard, or Cashier check. depending on your choice. Now you can only pay $170 for shipment and it will only take 3 working days to deliver to your door step.
If you are interested in receiving your fund, just get back to me immediately you receive this mail with your current Mailing address and your cell number ( email@example.com ) and i will also give you information on how to pay the $170. Please make sure you use this code as your subject ( RE:GIFC ) this will make me respond back to you.
I am waiting to hear from you.
Name: Dr Jeff Badmus
Gulf International Finance Centre