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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- "the consignment" (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)
- "consignment " (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)
- "does not know the contents of the box" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
Fraud email example:
Date: Tue, 16 Feb 2021 05:35:46 +0100
I am Mr Mark Shilitto, I work here with HSBC bank plc here in London Uk
I got some money through a Contract deal in my bank.
This sum of $2.5 MILLION USD has carefully been moved
out of MY BANK TO A SECURITY COMPANY IN Dubai for safe-keeping. Through
DIPLOMATIC CHANNEL.My proposal is that I will like you to stand in as
my partner to recieve the money in Dubai I deposited it in one box,
But the Security company does not know the contents of the box as I
tagged them to be photographic materials for export.
As a CIVIL SERVANT we are not allowed to operate a foreign bank
account or to do business .
I will give you 30% of the total sum for your assistance and 60% for
me,10% map out for any expenses that both of us might incurred in the
course of this transaction when you might received the consignment on
There is no risk at all.I shall require your assistance for a good
investment in your country. If you are interested in this deal Kindly
forward the following
1. Your full name and address
2. Your personal cellphone number/ Telephone number
3. A valid identification of yourself either driving license or
Awaiting your prompt response.