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:
- 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 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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: " Ms .Julie Albert" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 31 Oct 2017 20:43:26 -0700
Subject: Best wishes
Good day my dear,
My name is Julie Albert 24 year-old girl, from Abidjan-Cote D'Iviore.
The rebels killed my parents during the political crisis in 2011, because my late father worked in the government house with the former President of Cote D'Ivoire (Laurent Gbagbo)
I am the only child of my parents. I am in the rural area now as i am hiding to save my life from the enemies who killed my parents.
Please I wish to request for your assistance in my efforts to procure the transfer of my inherited money, sum of $2.5 million dollars deposited in a bank for investment Ventures under your care and directive in your country, while I continue my education there in your country.
Thank You And God Bless.
Ms Julie Albert