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:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: Louis Adam <email@example.com>
Date: Fri, 23 Jul 2021 16:47:36 +0000
Subject: Good day.
Hope you are fine? I need your assistance to receive a consignment worth a
sum of US$52 millions Dollars belonging to a late Nigeria prominent corrupt
politician, Mr. Abba Kyari. He is a Nigerian lawyer who served as Chief of
Staff to the President of Nigeria from August 2015 to April 2020, and he
died of Coronavirus on the 17th of April 2020. For your information, the
money is in the security company here in my country, Togo. This is top
secret, and I knew this because I worked as his lawyer and agent in this
country. If you are willing to help, please indicate so I can explain
details about the deal to you. My private email; (firstname.lastname@example.org),
Barr. Louis Adam.