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.
Click here to report a problem with this page.
Some comments by the Scam-O-Matic about the following email:
- An email address listed inside this email has been used in a known fraud before.
- 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:
- "confidential business" (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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2021 06:11:38 -0500
Compliments of the day. My Name is Ann Lee, I am a senior Staff with a pub=
lic Bank here in Wing Hang Bank, Hong Kong, , I am contacting you regarding=
a confidential business Proposal that will be of great mutual benefit to b=
oth of us ,If you are interested Kindly Contact me on my private email addr=
ess for more details: firstname.lastname@example.org . I look forward to hearing fro=
m you soon.
Miss Anna Lee
Komplimente des Tages. Mein Name ist Ann Lee. Ich bin leitender Angestellt=
er bei einer =F6ffentlichen Bank hier in der Wing Hang Bank in Hongkong. Ic=
h kontaktiere Sie bez=FCglich eines vertraulichen Gesch=E4ftsvorschlags, de=
r f=FCr uns beide von gro=DFem gegenseitigem Nutzen ist. Wenn Sie interessi=
ert sind Bitte kontaktieren Sie mich unter meiner privaten E-Mail-Adresse f=
=FCr weitere Informationen: email@example.com. Ich freue mich darauf ba=
ld von Ihnen zu h=F6ren.
Fr=E4ulein Anna Lee