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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- 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: "Mr. Abu Salam" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 13 Jul 2020 14:37:26 -0700
I'm sorry but happy to inform you about my success in getting those
funds transferred under the cooperation of a new partner from Vietnam,
though I tried my best to involve you in the business but God decided
the whole situations. Presently I m in Vietnam for investment projects
with my own share of the total sum. Meanwhile, I didn't forget your
past efforts and attempts to assist me in transferring those funds
despite that it failed us some how.
Now contact my secretary in Burkina Faso her name is Ms. Milla Smith
on her e-mail address below email@example.com ask her to
send you the total of $1.1Milion which I kept for your compensation
for all the past efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I
appreciated your efforts at that time very much. So feel free and get
in touched with my secretary Ms. Milla Smith and instruct her where to
send the amount to you. Please do let me know immediately you receive
it so that we can share joy after all the sufferness at that time.
In the moment, I m very busy here because of the investment projects
which I and the new partner are having at hand, finally, remember that
I had forwarded instruction to the secretary on your behalf to receive
that money, so feel free to get in touch with Ms. Milla Smith she will
send the amount to you without any delay OK. Extend my greetings to
My Best regards
Mr. Abu Salam
Greetings from Vietnam