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:
- 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: "Theodoros Loannis." <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 14 May 2018 09:12:00 -0400
Before I introduce myself, I wish to inform you that you should treat this letter with confidentiality and seriousness.
This letter must come to you as a big surprise, but I believe it is only a day that people meet and become great friends and business partners. This is a personal email directed to you because of my present predicament. I also apologies for using this medium to contact you for such a huge business proposal. This is still because of the situation of things where my freedom is violated and limited.
I was once the President/ CEO of a multinational oil company for 12 years now retired and later a public office holder for 10 years also retired and now I am in asylum because of political oppression of false allegation leveled against me by nefarious politicians in my country. The truth will come out. It's just a matter of time.
I want to go neutral and I want to invest $35M in your Country through a neutral individual like you and I will move this fund to you if you agree to work with me honestly and truthfully.
All I want you to do when the funds are transferred to you is to establish a Lucrative Business Venture and invest half the fund in commercial real estate and the other half on lending (that's if you think this business will boom in your country) to individuals and companies respectively on Long term period of ten Years duration at 10 to 15 percent interest and at the end of every year both of us will share the profit at 60% for me and 40% for you. You can come up with your investment plans.
If this proposal pleases you, I can forward the investment agreement for signing and we can take it from there.
I wait for your prompt response ASAP.