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:
- "will come to you as a surprise" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: British High Commission <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 21 Sep 2019 02:23:57 -0600
Subject: CONFIRM RECEIPT
British High Commission
New Delhi 110021.
It is apparent that this letter will come to you as a surprise but please find time to read it carefully as we regret the "neglect" of a legal provision on the award of compensation, the Supreme Court has ordered the British Government through The British High Commission in India, to make sure they adjudge the aspect of compensation in every outstanding Foreign Debts and Un-claimed Funds emanating from UK-INDIA to avoid possible impair/rebranding the British image.
From the records of outstanding Funds beneficiaries submitted to my desk for payment release, your name falls in the 1st category "A" of payment manifest released for the first quarter of 2019.
The British High Commissioner to India (Sir Dominic Asquith) and the entire members and staff of the British High Commission sends their warmest congratulatory message to you this day, on the final approval of your compensation funds as we are pleased to inform you that you are now eligible to receive your $2 Million USD compensation fund.
For Validation Purpose, Forward the Following Information as Listed Below and Send to this
Office through:email (firstname.lastname@example.org)
British High Commission New Delhi