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:
- ",500,000" (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)
- 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:
From: "Mr Cowley Geofrey Peter"<firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 13:48:58 +0200
Subject: CAN I GET YOUR SUGGESTION BECAUSE I WANT TO INVEST IN YOUR COUNTRY?
How are you today, I do hope you are doing okay. My name is Mr. Cowley Geo=
frey Peter I am a private broker having worked in a bank and decided to vol=
untarily retire before my due date due to a life threatening illness. I cam=
e to know you in my private search for a reliable and reputable person that=
I can partner with in what I termed as a once in a lifetime business oppor=
tunity that came my way but I cannot handle it alone due to my illness. kn=
owing the internet has made it easier for all of us to get details of peopl=
e, companies and virtually anything one needs I have no doubt that you will=
not be surprised that I contacted you.
I want to propose to you with regards to twenty-five million five hundred =
thousand united states dollars ($25,500,000. 00) that I want you to assis=
t me to invest. This fund is presently lying in one of the banks in Asia. T=
his proposal is in good faith as such there is nothing to worry about. It i=
s also not A MUST DO affair on your part if you don=2019t want to but I am =
100% sure that you will love to explore this God giving opportunity the mom=
ent you get back to me for further details. Do
please send your reply to my private email (email@example.com).
Mr. Cowley Geofrey Peter