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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Zubbi Mohammed" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 23 Dec 2020 16:42:36 +0000
Subject: Dear Friend
*Dear FriendGreetings, my name is Mr.Zubbi Mohammed, the account manager in
chargeof audit Foreign Remittance Unit, bank in Burkina Faso, It is
truethat we have not meet each other in person, but I strongly believe
intrust and friendship in every business.As I am contacting you
independently of my investigation and no one isinformed of this
communication. My reason for contacting you is totransfer an abandoned sum
of Ten million Five Hundreed Thousand UnitedState of American Dollars
immediately to your private account.The money has been here in our Bank
lying dormant for years now without anybody coming for the claim of