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:
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- ",500,000" (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 mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "Joseph Koko" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2018 19:05:02 +0100
Subject: Can Finalize This Project?
From Mr. Joseph Koko
I have to introduce myself since we don't know each other, I am Mr. Joseph
Koko, a Special Adviser to Ex-Gambia President in Finance (Yahya
Abdul-Aziz Jammeh), who is presently seeking asylum in Equatorial Guinea
after he was force to hand over to the newly elected president Adama
Barrow. He assigned a total sum of US$ 25,500,000,00. (Twenty-Five Million
Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only) for me to go to Russia
for the purchase of arms/weapons to fight the opposition party.
This money is deposited somewhere, Now I'm looking for very honest,
sincere man or woman who can proceed to where the fund is and assist in
moving out the fund to his/her account for investment purpose.
I am willing to partner with you and invest a substantial amount of money
in your company if you have an existing company or I can also partner with
you to set up a new one, provided you have a substantial and complete
feasibility study on the new company you will need us to partner with you.
I believe in pursuing a positiv