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:
- "million united states dollars" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Khadija Shawkat <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 7 Oct 2020 05:22:27 -0700
Subject: Partner with me
I am Khadija Shawkat, wife of late General Assef Shawkat who was
killed by a bomb attack in Aleppo, Syria on 18 July,2012 which the
violence caused hundreds of thousands to flee their homes as refugees
of the Syria Civil war.
Late Gen. Assef Shawkat was brother in-law to Syria President, Bashar
al-Assad and was Minister of defense until his death. I have in my
possession USD22M(Twenty Two Million United States Dollars
only)currently in a financial institution, which I now intend to use
to establish a profitable business venture in your country to enable
me and my family start life all over again. I want to invest the
US$22M in your company/country and you will be my guide. I will give
you more details upon your response. Reply through my private email