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:
- 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:
- "million us 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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Dr Lafat Al-Salem" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 00:15:21 +0300
I have an urgent business proposal for you. Please I need your help, I know you don't know me now, but you will know me soon.
My name is Dr. Lafat Al-Salem, I am a business woman with social status and I live Syria.
I have a business partner from your country, we had an agreement for investment, he came here to meet me in Syria once. I made a delivery of $8million US dollars in cash to him recently. The money is in your country right now.
As you are reading this letter, my $8million US dollar is in your country. This person I wanted to do business with is trying to cheat and dupe me now. I don't have a reliable person from your country to contact now.
I need your help. I am willing give 15% of the total fund to you if you can assist me to solve this matter.
Please reply to me now. I will explain to you. Please I am waiting.
Dr. Lafat Al-Salem
Syrian Petroleum Company,
Dummar Province Expansion Square,
Island 19- Building 32,
Syria. +963 119947
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