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:
- 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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "abidjan" (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 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: Al Ghazzawi Amira <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 27 Feb 2017 14:43:54 +0000
Subject: I Really Need Your Help,
I Really Need Your Help,
I know that this message will come to you as a surprise. I hoped that
you will not expose or betray this trust and confident that I am about
to repose on you, my name is Miss Al Ghazzawi Amira. I am 19 years old
Girl, female, from Tartu Syria, (never married) 61 kg, white in
complexion, and I am currently living in the refugee camp here in
Abidjan Ivory Coast, My late beloved father Al-Ghazzawi Duba was a
renowned businessman and owner of Natour Petrol Station in Syria, he
was killed in a stampede riot in Tartu, Syria.
When I got the news about my parents. I fled to a nearby country
Jordan before I joined a ferry to Africa and came to Abidjan capital
city Ivory Coast West Africa find safety here.
I came in 2013 to Abidjan and I now live in refugee camps here as
refugees are allowed freely to enter here without, My late father
deposited (US$6.400.000.00m) My late father kept the money at the bank
of Africa, I want you to help me transfer the money to your hand so
that you will help me bring me into your country for my continue education.
I sent my pictures here for you to see. Who I am seriously looking for
a good-person in my life, so I want to hear from you soon and
learnmore about you.
I am an open-minded and friendly girl to share a good time with you
and have fun and enjoy on the go, bird watching, the rest of our
lives. My Hobbies, tourism books, dance, music, soccer,
tennis,swimming and cinema.
I would just think about you, including your dose and doesnât .I
believe we will do well together, and live like one family.
Thank you and God bless you, for you in your promise to help me here,
looking forward to your reply by the grace of God and have a good day.
I hope you send me your photos as well? I await your next reply in
faith please reply through my private email at