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)
- "diplomatic agent" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Samuel Jason" <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 24 Dec 2021 21:50:35 -0800
Subject: ATTENTION URGEN
Attention is needed,
Greetings from the delivery office. I have vital information which
needs to be attended to immediately.
Did you authorize anyone to pick up your compensation fund from our
branch in Arizona?
One? Mr. Andrew Cox came to our office yesterday in your respect
$10million dollars which has been credited
with us for the past 6 months now by the Federal Government to be
transferred into your account to pick up the fund.
So we decided to write to you to make sure that you Find of $10million
dollars in our branch office in Arizona.
We want you to get back to us with the following details:
This above listed details are as fast as Possible If You Did Not
To Pick Up Your Fund From Our Branch In Arizona Endeavor to get back
to us as in fast as you can with your details in a suitable branch.
Urgent Attention Are Your Needed To Enable Us Proceed With The
Transaction As Your Fund Is Ready For Delivery.
Mr. Samuel Jason