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:
- 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:
- "attorneys " (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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:
Date: Mon, 18 Dec 2017 13:04:34 -0800
May all good things come to you as we become acquainted. I am Semahat Arsel, Turkish, widowed, 88yrs, but without child. What is not known about my daily struggle is that my relatives are taking advantage of me, greedily possessing my wealth. After causing chaos about the family wealth as soon as my nephew, the former chairman of Koc holdings passed in January, they now seek my personal wealth but I would rather give to someone of choice, even though I never met them before.
I have asked my Attorneys about the legal exigencies of giving out financial gifts to foreigners and they have given clear confirmation that all that is required is a 'change of ownership right' and this is what I have done. I am giving sums worth â¬80 Million Euros and this would be distributed among 20 individuals/company/churches/mosque/NGOs.
It is my intention that you be included. You will receive the exact amount of â¬3,820,000.00 Euros. You do not need to do anything other than confirm acceptance, sign the 'change of ownership right'. It would be transferred to you thereafter.
Please address your message only to me on same email (firstname.lastname@example.org) Confirming your full name and address. This would be used to append the 'change of ownership right' in your favour.
Waiting to hear from you.
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