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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Senate Committee" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 9 Sep 2017 08:42:40 +0530
Subject: Important Message!
I have earlier written you on this matter, but did not receive any
response from you, hence my decision to resend this message to you. I wish
to notify you that I have been directed to contact you today by the
Department of Compensation Fund Payment. This is because you have been
approved to receive certain amount of money as compensation from the
Senate Committee on Local and Foreign Debts. It was established that you
rendered assistance to some person(s) in the past who sought your help to
assist them move out a certain sum of money out of their country to your
own country for business investment.
However, after using you and subjected you to spend lots of money to
achieve this purpose, the fund was not released to you as they promised.
In the process, you lost some monies and did not receive any dime up to
This particular amount of money has been approved to be paid to you as
compensation for all your past efforts in helping to realize the business
transaction to enable you recover what you have lost in the past and help
you start your life afresh.
You are hereby advised to reply this message and indicate your interest to
receive this sum of money.
Best regards and wishes,
Senate Committee Chairman
Local and Foreign Debts Payment