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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 2020 17:57:34 +0100
Subject: From Mr.Philip
Hello Dear Friend,
I am an account officer with reputable bank here in Rep of Cote d'Ivoire. I would love to build up a solid foundation with you in time coming if you can be able to help me in this business proposal.
Listen,the total sum of US $15, 00,000.00 (Fifteen Million, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) I Hoped that you will not betray this trust and confident that I am about to repose on you for the mutual benefit of our both families So this is the reason why I contacted you,so that with me giving you all his information we can release the money to you as the nearest person to the deceased customer.
Please I would like you to keep this proposal as top secret and delete if you are not interested.Upon receipt of your reply,I will send you full detail on how the business will be executed. Please if you're willing to participate with me and secure this fund for our both benefit kindly reply me.