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:
- "dear sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "email@example.com" (This email address looks like addresses used in fake loan scams. Be suspicious of any lender who uses a free webmail address or who is based in different country from yourself.)
- 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: "Loan Investment" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 18 Dec 2019 01:26:59 +0100
Our investor has established an entity in the Middle East with a series of closed deals and strong partnerships achieved by years of continuous diligence, trust and uninterrupted attention to its clients.
They are basically seeking expansion strategy through diversified strategic decisions; they have a broad view of investment banking from the expertise of its team. They identify entrepreneurial skills, strong partnership, leadership experience, and possible investments all in the vain to increase their overall portfolio. We would like to review your business summary or presentation to understand your project.
We offer straight or convertible loan investment partnership. However, we wish to know the possibility of going into an investment partnership within your present scope of business. We are open to further discussions if you consider our proposal to be along your path of planning. Kindly reply to this email address;- email@example.com for more details and discussion.
Mr Glenn Mccracken
(INTERNATIONAL INVESTMENT AGENT