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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Professor Itse Sagay." (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2017 15:03:16 +0100
Subject: To whom it may concern 13/ 3 / 20171
To whom it may concern,
My name is Professor Itse Sagay, Professor Itse Sagay,Chairman Presidential
Advisory Committee against Corruption Federal Republic of Nigeria.
My reason of contacting you is in line with the desire of President Muhammadu
Buhari quest to wipe corruption out of the Nigeria system. The
president federal republic of Nigeria made a promise to the president
of the united state of America in his first official visit to U.S.A
that all foreign contractor and beneficiaries owned by the Nigeria
Government will receive all their funds in his first Term in office
without further delay.
Base on this the President on his return from his U.S.A trip set up
this committee of highly respected and Non-corrupt elder statesmen
which I was made the chairman to look into all files and documents of
foreign beneficiaries whom for one reason or other are yet to receive
their funds due to high level of corruption in Nigeria. Going through
the files and documents in our position it shows that you are yet to
receive your fund even when it is clear that the said fund belongs to
you and havenít invested huge sum of money in an attempt to get this
fund release to you.
Base on the above mentioned I decide to contact you personally and to
inform you that your fund is now ready and all necessary arrangement
has been put in place for immediate release of the fund. You are
hereby advice to indicate your readiness to get your fund for more
advice on how to get your fund, kindly contact me on the following
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more details.
Professor Itse Sagay.
Advisory Committee against Corruption