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:
- ",000,000" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: NORMAN BRIGGS <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2017 08:47:34 +0100
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
This is Mr. Norman Briggs ,Iâm contacting you because of my desire to
start business in your country.
I have interest to start business in any of the following areas: Real
Estate/ Construction, Trading or Hotel / Restaurant business;
depending on the business that will be good to start there in your
country. Iâm also ready to engage in any other business you know is
For a brief on my personality; My name is MR. Norman Briggs , I am
from Belize City living and based in my country as a politician but i
went to U.K. for my medical check up. I am 66 years of age, married
with a wife and 4 lovely kids. I dropped of politics because of my age
and my medical condition, so i am looking for a business that will be
producing profitable income.
Meanwhile, because of my health condition, I cannot be active in the
day to day management of the business when started; that is why I need
a management partner there.
The amount I have for the investment is $3,000,000 (Three million, US
dollars). I mentioned the amount so that you will know the level of
investment I have in mind.
The business will be partnership, while I provide this money for the
investment, you will help in the management of the business and the
profit from the business will be shared between us after expenses.
Let me know the business you suggest we start and please your
direct telephone is needed for formal update.
Mr Norman Briggs