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:
- "may come to you as a surprise" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Richie Donald <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 15 Feb 2021 21:55:12 +0100
This letter may come to you as a surprise since it is coming from someone
you have not met before (we all are strangers on earth till a day come we
become friends), due to high volume of unsolicited emails that goes around
the globe daily.
I am Mr. Richard Donald, financial consultant with a private finance and
investment firm. The firm has facilitated a lot of transactions for high
profile clients at home and abroad.
A late client of mine mandated me to seek for a foreign partner who can
help on transferring of fund out and also advice on possible investment
before he died on Monday, December 23, 2002 in the Ukrainian An-140
I humbly ask for your assistance in securing this fund (USD43, 645,310:00
Million) into your company's account or private account to avoid been
At your interest please send your details to (firstname.lastname@example.org) for
Mr. Richard Donald