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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "00,000.00" (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 "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: Mrs Wendy Briggs <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2019 10:03:41 +0100
Subject: ACCEPT MY COMPENSATION PAYMENT !!!
I am happy to inform you about my success in getting the fund transferred
to a Australia with the cooperation of a new partner from Australia who is
an international businessman. Presently I'm in Australia for investment
projects with my own share of the total sum, Meanwhile, I did not forget
your past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds
despite that it failed us some how.
I am happy to announce this to your hearing that i and my new partner is
residing in Australia as the transfer is completed. On your part, I am
COMPENSATING YOU with the sum of ($800,000.00) EIGHT HUNDRED THOUSAND
DOLLARS for showing concern, Please I want you to accept this as a gift
from my heart I would have sent you this mail earlier but due to how
hurriedly my trip to Australia was, i signed an ATM visa card worth of
$800,000.00 on your behalf as I am successful with this transfer.once you
receive the card delivered to you, then you will be withdrawing $5,000.00
I will like you to contact my secretary, Mr. Michael Duke for the
collection of this ATM visa card, It is my desire to fulfill my dreams in
life and to humanity, therefore get the compensation that came from my true
Contact him through his private email address below. His Name is Mr.
Mrs. Wendy Briggs