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:
- "with absolute secrecy" (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.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Hussein Bin Alii" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 22 Sep 2018 09:25:01 -1200
Subject: BUSINESS INVESTMENT
Good day to you and your family, I apologize if the content here under are contrary to your moral ethics but please treat with absolute secrecy and personal.
My name is Hussein Bin Ali from Homs Syria. I am now 60 years Old. Why I contacted you is to know if you can tell me more about good investment in your country so that I could relocate my investment planning to your beautiful country, out of Syria. Now that Syria security and our Economic independent has been lost to the greatest lower level, and our culture has been lost forever and our happiness has been taking away from us due to the ongoing civil war. I have funds to invest in your country on any viable and lucrative business and I need a local partner who can handle it for me.
Tell me more about your country, which city to live and invest in. I am looking at real estate since I have capital for investment up to USD400M. Also do let me know your idea and knowledge regarding this or any other profitable investment you may suggest, on my next email I will explain to you the full details of this investment Proposal.
Waiting for your reply. email@example.com