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)
- "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.
- 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: "JOHN BROWN" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 21 Mar 2019 18:16:36 -0000
Subject: URGENT RESPONSE.
From: JOHN BROWN CHAMBERS UK.
C/O JIM & CAROLYN MCCULLAR
Subject: MCCULLAR LUCKY WINNERS.
Reference Number: JCM2012Qr318g
Dear Lucky Winner,
This is a personalized email directed to you as the owner of this contact address. Please keep this document safe and secured as it is very important.
In January 24th of 2012, my wife (Carolyn McCullar) and I (Jim McCullar) won the Mega Million Jackpot Lottery of U$D380million. And as we promised at the Olympia, Washington press conference and to celebrate my birthday which is on the 15th of August, we have now decided to fulfill that promise by donating the sum of Eight hundred Thousand United States Dollars each to 10 unknown lucky people as part of our charity project to improve the lives of these lucky individuals from around the world.
Fortunately, if you have received this email, which was randomly selected, then you are one of the lucky recipients and all you have to do is get back to us so as to send your details to the payout bank. You can verify this by visiting the web pages below;
Please kindly quote reference number; JCM2012Qr318g, when contacting our lawyer, to confirm the authenticity this document information. Contact the solicitor below within the next 30 working days
JIM AND CAROLYN McCULLAR
ATTORNEY-IN-CHARGE: JOHN BROWN