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:
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Peter Alexandra <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sun, 16 Aug 2020 12:31:40 -0700
My name is Peter Alexandra, a representative of Exxon Mobil in the United Kingdom (http://www.exxonmobil.com). As a senior representative of Exxon that handles contract related matters,I over invoiced a contract which is not known by anybody and, I need your full cooperation and partnership to re-profile the fund amounting to US$12.2M to your name as the Contractor that executed the contract. At the completion, the sharing rates shall be 60% for me, 40% for you. Below are the details required from you;
(1). Stand as the beneficiary / contractor with Exxon Mobil to receive the funds as I will present you before the firm with legal documents.
(2). Receive the funds into a business/personal bank account in your country.
(3) Full Names;
(4) Contact Address:
(5) Direct Telephone No:
(7) Age and Marital Status:
(8) Means of Identification:
Mr. Peter Alexandra