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:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million 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)
- 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: "Mr. Paul Harry" (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 10 May 2019 18:30:23 +0200
Subject: Re: Re: Transfer of ($2,800,000.00 USD)
Hello Dear Friend,
I am Mr. Paul Harry and a banker and account officer to a gold business man, a national of your country who died On the 21st of December 2013 with his family living a deposit of $2.8 Million dollars with our bank without the next of kin.
After my findings, I discover that my client has know next of kin. IM searching, for a good person that will not betray my trust to claim the fund so that we can share it without any problem. As an insider working in the bank, I cannot claim the money to myself that is why, I am contacting somebody like you who is from this country with him and also bearing the same surname with him to act immediately to avoid the bank from taking over the deposit by end of this month.
Since you don't know me in person, I knew that you will be surprise and I want to let you known, that this transaction, is risk free and financial beneficiary to you as well and all information linking this money is on my table only waiting for your positive response to move forward.
So If I can count on you in handling this by yourself, and assured me of your full trust, then kindly send me your Personal details like Your Full Names, Your residence address, your telephone number, Scan copy of your international passport or national Identity Card. Once I get these details from you, I shall immediately procceed to provide you with other vital informations to claim the money and to help our people than leave it the bank to confiscate it.
For privacy and urgent reply me here only: email@example.com
Mr. Paul Harry