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)
- "fund beneficiary" (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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "foreign remittance department" (Banks mentioned in 419 scams are always fake (real banks don't communicate using mobile phones or free webmail addresses))
- 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: "Ms. Zoe Lau" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 4 Jun 2019 11:19:16 -0000
Subject: Attn:Fund Beneficiary:Payment Code:R578906K
Attn:Fund Beneficiary:Payment Code:R578906K
We are writing to know if it's true that you are DEAD? because we received a notification from one (MR. GERSHON SHAPIRO) of USA stating that you are DEAD and that you have giving him the right to claim your OUTSTANDING FUND (US$10.500,000,00) Ten Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars only. He stated you died in a CAR accident. He has been calling us regarding this issue, but we cannot proceed with him until we confirm this by not hearing from you after 7 days.
Be advised that we have made all arrangements for you to receive and confirm your funds without anymore stress, and without any further delays. All we need to confirm now is your being DEAD Or still alive, because this MAN'S message brought shock to our minds. And we just can't proceed with him until we confirm if this is a reality OR not, But if it happened we did not hear from you after 7 days, then we say:
MAY YOUR SOUL REST IN PERFECT PEACE" YOUR JOY AND SUCCESS REMAINS OUR GOAL.
We await your urgent response.
Ms. Zoe Lau.
Foreign Remittance Department
Telex Transfer Section,
China CITIC Bank International Limited.