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:
- 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:
- "keep this confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. John Anderson Powell" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 23 Mar 2020 02:03:54 -0700
Subject: I Would be Grateful for Your Prompt Reply.
Hello My Good Friend,
I have very vital information to give to you, but first I must have your trust before I review it to you because it may cause me my job, so I need somebody that I can trust for me to be able to review the secret to you.
I am Mr. John Anderson Powell, Manager of Fidelity Worldwide Investment and Head Officer-in-Charge of Luggage and Baggage Department at Orlando Melbourne International Airport Florida United States. During my recent withheld package routine check at the Airport Storage Vault, I discovered that you are not yet to receive your fund of US$10 Million which is in two metal boxes with registered number FWI/1220/XX002/220/2020.
This is to inform you that we have make an arrangement to delivery your two metal boxes to you through diplomatic means. So in order words to enable me cross check your details, I will advise you to send the required details below for quickly processing and get the two metal boxes delivery to you within the next 24hours.
(3). Telephone Number:
(7). Marital Status:
(8). Company's Name:
(9). Driver's License OR Passport:
(10). Nearest Airport:
I wait to hear from you as soon as possible today then you have to keep this confidential and I will appreciate it.
Mr. John Anderson Powell.