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:
- "hundred thousand united states dollars" (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)
- "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)
- 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: Joan Levy <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 4 Jul 2017 23:28:37 +0600
Subject: YOU COMPENSATION PAYMENT
This email comes to those who are yet to receive their compensation, inheritance, winnings, every foreign contractors who have not received their contract sum, and anyone who has unfinished transaction or compensation payments which failed due to governmental or any unforseen problems etc. The United Nations Association is to compensate you with the sum of $4,700,000.00 USD (Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars).
Your email address was in the list submitted by our Monitoring Team observers and this is the reason we have contacted you being one of our beneficiaries. You are advised to contact Mr. Alex Bates immediately for your Compensation payment of $4,700,000.00 USD (Four Million, Seven Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) which will be released directly to you in accordance with legal clearance and procedures.
However, you should send him your Full Names, Telephone Number(s) and Residential Address for your funds processing and release.
He is obliged to treat your case with utmost urgency as soon as you contact him and fill out your correct details including all reachable phone numbers for him to get in touch with you via phone and email.
This message (including any attachments) is intended only for
the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and
may contain information that is non-public, proprietary,
privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under
applicable law or may constitute as attorney work product.
If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified
that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this
communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this
communication in error, notify us immediately by telephone and
(i) destroy this message if a facsimile or (ii) delete this message
immediately if this is an electronic communication.