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 state 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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Michel Gbagbo <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 23 Oct 2017 21:16:00 +0100
Subject: Please carefully read.
Please carefully read.
Sorry for the inconveniences it might occur to you, maybe if you
are not interested in this my proposal I will be
offering to you now, , well I am the son of the former
president of Cote D'Ivoire (ivory coast) in west Africa Mr.
I have acquired a lot of most valuable treasure from my
father when he was in power, such as many raw gold bars and
a total cash sum of 48 million united state
dollars deposited in a security volt here in my country but
it was declared as family treasure to the security volt,
which no one knows even my family members except my father
and me, but I have to relocate the gold bars and the whole
of the amount of the money to outside Africa for
security purposes, for now I believed it is no longer safe
in Africa continent.
So I am looking for a very trustworthy person or partner from
one of this countries, European countries, USA, Canada, Asia
countries, Australia, Japan and New Zealand, who will help
me for relocating the gold bars and the fund to their
country and after some time I will relocate to his or her
country for business partnership in any of the lucrative
business you may know well.
So please do get back to me as soon as possible and to
indicate your interest on this very transaction, so that I
will send you more information details about this very
transaction before we can move further so kindly get back to
me as soon as possible indicating your wiliness to help me
by telling me more about you and your company or
organization that you are handling for now. Please kindly get back to me as
soon as possible if you are willing to help so that we will discuss the
modalities and how to move forward