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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand united states 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)
- "00,000.00" (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)
- "certified bank draft" (Beware of any scheme that involves cashing checks or money orders and then wiring a portion of the funds somewhere - you'll be liable for the entire amount if the checks or money orders turn out to be fake, even after you have received and forwarded cash. If it's a lottery prize, remember that real lotteries do not pay large prizes by check. They wire the money directly to your bank account and you do not pay for that. Many scammers promise a large check only in order to then demand payment of courier fees for a fake courier service. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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: Paul Adams <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Thu, 2 Sep 2021 07:51:09 -0600
Subject: Certified Bank Draft for you.
Hello my good friend,
How are you doing, hope all is well with you?
You may not understand why this email message came to you, but if you do
not remember me, you might have received an email from me in the past
regarding a multi-million-dollar business proposal which we never
concluded. I am using this opportunity to inform you that the
multi-million-dollar business has been concluded with the assistance of
another partner from France who financed the transaction to a logical
conclusion. I thank you for your great efforts to our unfinished transfer
of fund into your account due to one reason or the other best known to you.
I want to inform you that I have successfully transferred the fund to my
new partner's account in France that was capable of assisting me in this
great venture. Due to your effort, sincerity, courage and trust worthiness
you showed during the course of the transaction I and my new partner agreed
to compensate you and show my gratitude to you with the sum of $500,000.00.
I have left a (Certified Bank Draft) for you worth $500,000.00 cash-able at
any Bank in the world, Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars Only.
Please contact my account officer through this email address (
email@example.com) for the collection of the Bank draft, her names
are: Mrs. Patricia Dennis, I have authorized her to release the Draft to
you whenever you contact her for the receiving. At the moment, I'm very
busy with my partner because of the investment project which I and my new
partner are having at hand. Please I will like you to accept this token
with good faith as this is from the bottom of my heart, Also comply with
Mrs. Patricia's directive so that the Bank draft can reach you in time.
I did not forget your past efforts and attempts to help on receiving the
fund as requested, Now I am happy about my success in this, I and my
partner are giving you the above mentioned amount as compensation, so that
you can rejoice too!
Mr. Paul Adams.