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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- "keep it confidential" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "sani abacha" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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: "MOHAMED ABDUL" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2018 10:23:40 -0700
Subject: Hello Good Day
my name is Mohamed Abdul Ahmed ,i am former aide to the late president
sani abacha,i worked as oil minister, i managed to secure the sum of
twenty million dollars cash contract over invoicing payment,the money
is with the security vault in Dubai,i need your assistance to
receive the said cash box from the delivering diplomat,it was
deposited as a family treasure,no body knows money was inside the
box,if you are ready and interested i will make you the NEXT of KIN of
the said cash funds,i am now seeking assylum in united kingdom,please
am ready to offer you 40% for your kind help and 60% will be for me
which you will invest on my behalf, please help me and keep it
confidential,send me your mobile phone number and address to enable
diplomat make the delivery to you as the new beneficiary, reply back
CALL ME: +2347088141143
thanks you very much for your understanding
Kindly reply me back in my private mail: