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:
- "million 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.
- 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: Mustafa Idris <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 2 Apr 2021 23:10:47 +0800
Subject: IMPORTANT BUSINESS MESSAGE
My name is Mustafa Idris i was the chief cook to Yahya Jammeh the
former Gambian president who is now in Equatorial Guinea on exile, i
have $10.5 million dollars deposited in a Security & Safe Keeping
company on my name by my former boss waiting to be claimed, from my
private search for a responsible/reliable person i came across your
i need a sincere & a reliable foreign investor/partner who
can help claim and invest the money in his/her country, i will like us
to work together for this particular purpose, I will be very glad if
you will take into consideration this transaction and respond as soon
as possible.Send the following information,
1, Private email address -
2, Full Name -
3, Nationality -
4, Profession -
5, Marital Statue -
6. Date of Birth -
7. Telephone -
send you respond to this mailbox ( email@example.com )
I await your kind and positive update.