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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Lily Culibaly <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 6 Dec 2018 03:58:46 +0100
Subject: Dearest one
I know this mail will come to you as a surprise since we haven't known
or come across each other before considering the fact that I sourced
your email contact through the Internet in search of trusted person
who can assist me.
My name is Miss Lily Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly, I am the only child of
my late father, Late Chief Sgt.Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly (a.k.a
General IB ) . My late father was a well known Ivory Coast militia
leader . He died on Thursday 28 April 2011 following a fight with the
Republican Forces of Ivory Coast(FRCI). You can read more about my
father in the link below.
I am 24years, female from the Republic of Ivory Coast,West Africa . I
am writing this mail to call for your collaboration in a partnership
business in your country, I am constrained to contact you because of
the maltreatment I am receiving from my step mother. She planned to
take away all my late father's treasury and properties from me since
the unexpected death of my beloved Father. My father secretly
deposited the sum of $27.5 million in one bank in Burkina Faso with my
name as the next of kin.
However, I shall forward to you with the necessary information of the
deposit on confirmation of your acceptance to assist me for the
transfer and investment of the fund in your country. I will be very
happy if you can write me through my private email address
(email@example.com) for easy communication so that we can know
each other, I will give you my pictures and details about me in my
Miss Lily Warlord Ibrahim Coulibaly