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:
- "hundred thousand united state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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 (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Dave Bryner" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 13 Mar 2018 17:22:18 -0700
Subject: YOUR UNDELIVERED PACKAGE
This is to inform you of your long overdue outstanding Package in our records. I saw your name and address in the Central list of unpaid inheritance claims individuals and have to update your information through this email by contacting for immediate confirmation if you are still alive.
Your name appeared among the list of beneficiaries who havenít receive their Package word sum of US$20.500, 000 million (Twenty million five hundred thousand United State dollars) and it has been approved already for delivery months ago. However we received an email from one Mr. Geoffrey Parsons who told us that he is your next of kin and that you died in a car accident last four months back.
He has also submitted his home delivery information to our office for the Package to be delivered to him as your inheritor. We are now verifying by contacting you by your email address, as we have in our records before we can make the Package transfer to his nominated home address and for us to conclude confirmation if you are dead or not. Please, confirm response immediately before our action release the outstanding Package against your name listed out. Upon this, i request you send your full personal information as soon as possible to enable this department finalize the Package release to your nominated home address we needs the following information from you urgently.
1. Full Names...................................
2. Telephone and Fax Number..........
3. Contact Address...........................
I apologize to you on behalf of International Monetary fund Agency towards this contact and proper confirmation required urgently from you if alive. Make sure you reply to my alternative mail address ( firstname.lastname@example.org )