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:
- 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:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "here in united kingdom" (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Charles Brown <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 21 May 2021 14:56:11 -0700
Subject: BANK TRANSACTION !!!
I am Charles Brown. I work in one of the commercial
Banks here in United Kingdom. I am contacting you in regards to a huge
sum of money Sixteen Milli0n,Seven Hundred British Pounds only,in an
account with my bank since last year (2014),
belonging to an American property magnate,now
deceased.The owner of the funds died along-side with his entire family
on Air Algeria flight that crashed in Northern Mali West Africa on the
24th July 2014 killing all 116 people on board, you can get more
details on the website below:
The proposition is to move this fund out for us to
prevent my bank from claiming it. Kindly respond
promptly with the following information :
(A) YOUR FULL NAMES
(C) YOUR COMPANY NAME AND ADDRESS ( If any )
(D) PHONE NUMBERS .
(E) YOUR AGE,MARITAL STATUS & NATIONALITY.
(F) OCCUPATION & POSITION.
The money will be shared in the ratio of 60/40. This
business is (100%) risk free. Get back to me ASAP.