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:
- "hundred thousand 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)
- "cheque " (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- 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: Mrs Karen <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 1 Oct 2017 15:00:19 -0700
Subject: Good day TO You!!
Good day TO You!!
It is my pleasure to reach you after our unsuccessful attempt on our
business transaction. Well, I just want to use this medium to thank
you very much for your earlier assistance to help me in receiving the
fund, I am obliged to inform you that I have succeeded in transferring
those fund through the help of a new partner from South Korea Mr LIM.
Everything was perfectly done because we stroke a deal with one of the
Lady accountant who works with the Federal Ministry of Finance (F M
F), and she rendered tremendous help to us. My new partner initiated
this idea and it worked out successfully.
In appreciation of your earlier assistance to me in receiving the
funds, I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $1.5million
USD(One Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars), Please
accept it as a token of appreciation from Me. Presently, I am in Korea
for investment project. Since it was difficult to contact you before i
traveled due to the urgency of my business schedule, I have left
instruction with my personal secretary Robert Lucy ,
Please contact him through his E-mail address.
Secretary Name: Mr Robert Lucy
Please email him and inform him that I have contacted you that he
should go ahead release your compensation cheque to you.I gave him
your information's but you have to reconfirm it again to him so that
he will confirm that you are the person supposed to contact him,
considering the kind of information he is expecting, so fill free to
get in touch with him and he will release to you the cheque without
Your Full Name :
God Bless you and your family.