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.
- 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.
- 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: "gary larson" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 27 Jul 2019 07:54:37 +0800
Subject: FROM GARY
I was instructed to inform you on the Latest development concerning
your Unpaid fund. You are to abide by this instructions and email us
back for more directives on your payment through "Fiduciary Offshore
From the transaction files available to us, you should be able to have
received your funds before now. But from the fact that you did not
come through the front door to claim your fund but through the back
door by dealing with some African and European impostors and that is
why you have not received your inheritance payment,
To process this payment through our fiduciary payment bank without
further delay, kindly send the details as stated below to enable us
re-profile your funds ready for release from the payment bank.
ID Card Copy
If we do not receive a response from you within the next 72 hours, we
will assume you are no longer ready, willing and able to process your
funds, and we will regard same as unclaimed inheritance to be returned
to the Escrow Account of FMF.
Mr Gary Larson.