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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "very confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Simon" <email@example.com>
Date: Wed, 14 Mar 2018 01:20:45 +0200
Subject: Whatever your decision, Write me back. I look forward to it.
I am Mr. Simon Adams, I represent a well-known African family currently living in Political Asylum. I have a very sensitive and private brief from this family to ask for your partnership to re-profile a large amount of fund. I will give the details, but in summary, the fund is in Custodial Service of an international Logistics Company with offices and vault in Johannesburg. They are in alliance with one of the prime Bank where they have a considerable stake.
Presently we have established a profiling channel through our bankers in the bank and they have put a plan in place to move the money through the assistance of the Logistic Company. We need to present you/your Company as a management Consultant to undertake and complete this re-profiling job. This is a legitimate transaction. By this letter, I am offering to have you manage the funds in a lucrative and profitable investment in your country.
I propose that you will be compensated with 20% of the total fund for your proposed "management consultation invoiced charges", for your assistance to re-profile this funds appropriately and as a gratification for your partnership, if I am able to reach terms with you.
If you are willing and interested in this viable offer of my partnership with you, I hereby no means of prejudice solicit you to write me back by email and provide me with your full contact details or company profile including your private telephone number. In your response, I will send you an elaborate proposal and details of this offer.
Please keep this proposal very confidential as we cannot afford any disclosure in the public domain.
Whatever your decision, Write me back. I look forward to it.
Kindly reach me on time.
Mr. Simon Adams.
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