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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (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.
- 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: "UMARU YAR ADUA" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 19 Jun 2019 17:39:02 +0300
Subject: ATT: Sir/Madam, GOOD NEWS...64
MY NAME IS MR.UMARU YAR ADUA A CITIZEN OF NIGERIA NORTHERN PART.
I AM INTERESTED TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY WITH SUM OF $25.6MILLION AND THE MONEY BELONG TO MY LATE FATHER YAR ADUA.
HERE IN NIGERIA THE ECONOMY IS NOT ENCOURAGINGHOWEVER I WILL LIKE YOU TO TELL ME HOW IS YOUR COUNTRY ECONOMY AND WHAT CAN WE INVEST THIS MONEY ON IN YOUR COUNTRY.
FURTHERMORE THIS FUNDS WILL BE SPLIT 10% WILL BE PUT OUT FROM THE TOTAL FUNDS FOR ANY EXPENSES THAT COMES IN LOCAL OR INTERNATIONAL WHILE 50% OF THE FUNDS SHALL BE USED FOR INVESTMENT THEN 3O% FOR YOU THE REMAINING 10% WILL BE KEPT FOR ME UNTIL I ARRIVE AT YOUR COUNTRY IF YOU ARE INTRESTED GET BACK TO ME THROUGT THIS EMAIL. email@example.com
MR.UMARU YAR ADUA.