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:
- "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)
- 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: "FROM: Eric Moore" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Nov 2017 15:24:03 +0000
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I would have loved to explain every detail to you via
whatsapp messenger but considering the sensitivity of this
transaction, I decided to communicate to you through email
for the moment.
Please I need your help as urgent as possible.
To explain to you more better on why I need your help, As
you are already aware I am a gold merchant and also a
financial broker by profession. In the year 2011 during the
political upheavals in Libya, I was consulted by one of my
old client an oil magnate and ex minister of petroleum being
a strong ally to deposed Libyan president Muammar Gaddaffi.
My client sought for my assistance to move the sum of $45
million dollars to a financial house abroad when it became
clear to him that Gaddaffi will be ousted from the seat of
As a financial broker I made the necessary arrangements with
an offshore financial house and the total sum of $45 million
was moved out safely and was placed under their custody
without a beneficiary's name because my client didn't want
his name mentioned due to his political status at the time.
Now the financial house has called on my urgent attention to
furnish them with the details of the rightful beneficiary to
enable them set up a proper account and place the funds but
unfortunately my client was assassinated few years ago in an
unknown circumstances. Please check the report of his death
on BBC news http://www.bbc.com/news/w orld-europe-17889660
Now I am seeking your assistance to present you to the
financial house as the beneficiary of the funds to enable
them place the funds on your name for subsequent transfer to
any bank account you may provide. I decided to do this
because I cannot forfeit this deposit to the bank
considering the fact that no other individual or person is
aware of this deposit except me and my deceased client. As a
financial broker, I will use my expertise to secure whatever
document that may be needed to proof that the fund is coming
to you as an investment which will prove the origin and
source of funds to your receiving bank prior to the
Your role is to only pose as the beneficiary of the deposit
since the fund was deposited without beneficiary's name and
after that you will instruct the bank to transfer the funds
to any account you will provide in your country or anywhere
else and after that I will fly down to meet with you and
disburse the money 50% for you and 50%. I am open for
negotiations if you deem it necessary. As a Christian I
would want to use part of my own share to start a charity
organisation to help millions of impoverished children there
As you can see from the above explanation, everything about
this transaction is 100% legitimate and will never bring
trouble of any kind now and after the completion of the
If you are ready to work with me kindly send me your direct
telephone number for verbal dicussion.