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:
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "chambers" (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Andrea Van" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Jan 2019 15:47:25 -0800
Subject: Greetings Investment in the United State !!!
Investment in the United States:
I am a UK based financial consultant, and I got your contact from the London Chambers of Commerce and Industry. A client of mine from Jordan in the Middle East seeks for a foreign partner, specifically from the United States, who has the capability and capacity to handle a vast investment of US$125,500,000.00 (One Hundred and Twenty Five Million Five Hundred Thousand U.S. Dollars). His interest is mainly in the following sectors:
1. Commercial Real Estate
2. Oil and Gas
4. Renewable energy/ Health sector
7. Hotel and leisure activities
8. Mining, and Transportation.
My client wants guaranteed 5% Annual Return on Investmemt (AROI), and he wants these funds held and invested in the United States for a period of at least 10 years, he is also willing to offer you a one time fee of 10% of the total funds for your assistance and participation in this project. These funds are already deposited in a bank in Europe for subsequent transfer to the United States. More details shall me communicated to you if you indicate your interest in a return email.
Mr. Andrea Van
Director Business Relations Unit,