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:
- "please indicate your willingness" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "huge sum of money" (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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Odesah Craig <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 28 Aug 2019 03:37:50 -0500
Subject: Odesah Craig
Mr. Odesah Craig.
This message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, it all just my
urgent need for a foreign partner that made me to contact
and reliability to champion this business opportunity when I prayed to
good GOD about you i was searching for a foreign partner. i assured of
I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared
between us in the ratio of 60/40% if you agree to my business proposal.
I need your assistance to transfer a huge sum of money from my Bank.
Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you as soon as i
receive your return mail immediately you receive this letter.
Please indicate your willingness by sending the below information for
more clarification and easy communication.
Email : email@example.com
Hoping to hear from you immediately
Mr. Odesah Craig.