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:
- "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 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: "MRS. ANGELA BLAKE" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 09 Mar 2020 14:03:33 -0700
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary,
Based on our investigation of your payment, we want to find out if you're still alive or did you sign any deed of assignment with (Mrs. Grace Jackson.) to receive your COMPENSATION FUND, The Payment of US $5.000,000.00 which was approved by INTERNATIONAL MONITORY FUND (IMF) INVESTIGATION AND DEBT SETTLEMENT COMMITTEE to be release to you at your preferable mode of payment by the Investigation and Debt Settlement Committee, The Payment is as a result of compensation Inheritance Fund for scam victim which is due for payment. Approved by the Investigation and Debt Settlement Committee / International Monitory Fund, All is required from you is your details for Authorization and Endorsement of your Name on the said fund US$5Million for payment.
Please acknowledge receipt of this message for more details, Waiting
to hear from you.E-mail:(email@example.com)
MRS. ANGELA BLAKE