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:
- "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)
- "united state of america" (this email uses bad English)
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Harry Okute." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Tue, 2 Jun 2020 06:57:31 -0400
Subject: Attention Dear Friend
ATTENTION: ARE YOU AWARE?
Are you still alive or dead? The reason for this question is that we received
an email from one Mrs Stella Gilbert Yesterday And she said that you died
ago and you have given her Letter of Authorization before your death?
she said that you died on 26 of April 2020,And they buried you on 1st of
Furthermore, we told Her that the only thing holding the delivery of your
fund worth of
($2.800,000.00) Two Million eight hundred Thousand united state of
American Dollars.is the DELIVERY charge of the sum of $196 dollars only and
that the fund has been approved for delivery in your favor.so we
asked her to call back on Monday, so that we can confirm from you first.
Are you aware of this? i want to know whether all this stories are truth
about you with a verifiable information and evidence that youre
still healthy and alive.
she also promised to pay the DELIVERY charge of the sum of $196 dollars
only on Monday but i maitain my dignity to wait until i hear from the
Orinal owner of the funds which is you.
If you are alive Please, quickly get back to manager Kelvin Desmond to
(email@example.com) let me know if you are alive or not.