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.
- 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.
- email@example.com (Nycmail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Mrs Fatima Michel SAWADOGO <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 2020 20:48:20 +0100
Subject: ATTENTION PLS!
I am Mrs.Christabel Brown, the Auditing and Accounting manager of Bank of
Africa (B.O.A ANNEX) Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso. I Hoped that you will not
expose or betray my trust and confident that I am about to establish with
you for the mutual benefit of our both family. In my department I discover
an abandoned sum of (US$22.6Million) in an account that belongs to one of
our foreign customer who died along with his family in plane crash.
It is therefore upon this discovery that I now decided to make this
business proposal to you and release the money to you as the next of kin or
relation to the deceased for the safety and subsequent disbursement since
nobody is coming for it. I agree that 40% of this money will be for you,
and 60% would be for me. Then after the money is been transferred into your
account, I will visit your country for an investment under your kind
You have to contact my Bank directly as the real next of kin of this
deceased account with next of kin application form which I will send to you
immediately I hear from you. All you are required to do now is to confirm
the bellow information through my private email address for a security
reasons to enable us commence immediately.
1. Your Full Name:---------------
2. Home Address: ---------------
3. Age & Sex: ---------------------
4. Occupation: --------------------
5. Cell Phone: ---------------------
6. State of Origin: ----------------
7. Country: --------------------------
8: Marital Status: -----------------
Waiting to hear from you soon.
Mrs. Christabel Brown
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