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:
- 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: "Friedrich Arno" (may be fake)
Date: Sat, 8 Jun 2019 01:07:47 +0100
Subject: Greetings From Friedrich
Dear Sir/ Madam,
I am representing a small group of investors from Pretoria, who are interested in overseas investment in your country, involving large volume of funds, for which they seek a participant as their overseas representative.
The civil service regulations here prohibits them from getting involved in private business, while under government employment, hence this proposal to you, in view of your impressive profile. If you feel disposed towards the solicited role, please indicate by prompt response, so that I may provide you further details of the transaction, and also let you know what will be coming to you as remuneration
Given the fact that my associates have relatively only academic knowledge of your country, you should therefore have a basic expectation of the kind of role that will also be required of you, after the funds transfer has been done.
Bear in mind however, that this is a legitimate transaction, and the only reason why strict privacy is advised, is as a result of restrictions of the civil service laws in here. Moreover, these are free thinkers, as against alliance to any religious belief which ordinarily one would expect from people of this part of the world.
I look forward to your prompt response. email@example.com