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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million dollars" (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.
Fraud email example:
From: Mohamed Al-Jleilati<email@example.com>
Date: 21 May 2021 17:27:32 +0200
Subject: Proposal for partnership
This message might meet you in utmost surprise. However, It's just my urgent need for a foreign partner that made me contact you for this transaction. I assured you of honesty and reliability to champion this business opportunity. I am a banker by profession in Turkey, and currently holding the post of Auditor in Standard Chartered Bank.
I have the opportunity of transferring the leftover funds ($15 Million Dollars) of one of my clients who died along with his entire family in crisis in Myanmar Asia. I am inviting you for a business deal where this money can be shared between us if you agree to my business proposal.
Further details of the transfer will be forwarded to you immediately after I receive your return letter.