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:
- "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.
- 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: "Michael Moore" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 28 Nov 2018 12:46:20 -0500
Subject: FUND MANAGEMENT OFFER
My name is Michael Moore, I am writing you based on my interest in investing into real estate and other businesses in your country.
I have contacted you on the consideration that I coulddiscuss with you on the possibility of placing some funds with you for management either in your existing
establishment or other venture to be undertaken at your discretion under terms to be agreed upon and also inquire about the possibility of you handling this investment and management on my behalf in your country.
Please furnish me more information on the availability of the areas of investment that you know and if possible so we can work out modalities to partner together.
Should you be interested in this proposal, kindly state your interest urgently I will furnish you with details as soon as I receive your favorable response. If you are not interested in this, kindly keep this information very confidential.
I await a swift response from you as soon as you can to this private email:email@example.com