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.
- 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: "Alice Oliver" (may be fake)
Date: Tue, 2 Oct 2018 11:52:08 -0400
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL
I'm sorry I invaded your privacy. My name is Alice Oliver from Dublin, married to the late Franz Oliver. I am currently suffering from cancer and would like to donate my genetic material (45 million Usd), which I would like to leave at a financial institution in the USA. Recently, my doctor told me that I may not live for more than three months because of my cancer. I made this decision because I have no child who would inherit this money, and my husband's relatives are bourgeois and very wealthy people. I want you to use my heritage when you make business investments that create employment opportunities for unemployed and less privileged people. I will only give you more details if you are ready and willing to deal with this project. (email@example.com)