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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "contact me immediately" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "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:
From: "From Mr. Kobby Asare" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 4 Aug 2021 22:31:36 -0700
Subject: BUSINESS PROPOSAL, TREAT IT WITH A MATTER OF URGENT
I assume you and your family are in good health. I am the foreign
operations Manager at one of the leading generation bank here in West
This being a wide world in which it can be difficult to make new
acquaintances and because it is virtually impossible to know who is
trustworthy and who can be believed, I have decided to repose
confidence in you after much fasting and prayer. It is only because of
this that I have decided to confide in you and to share with you this
In my bank, there resides an overdue and unclaimed sum of $7.5m,
(Seven Million Five Hundred Thousand Dollars Only) when the account
holder suddenly passed on, he left no beneficiary who would be
entitled to the receipt of this fund. For this reason, I have found it
expedient to transfer this fund to a trustworthy individual with
capacity to act as foreign business partner. Thus I humbly request
your assistance to claim this fund.
Upon the transfer of this fund in your account, you will take 40% as
your share from the total fund, and 60% will be for me. Please if you
are really sure you can handle this project, contact me immediately.