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)
- "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)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Marc Fernandez" <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 4 Sep 2021 10:23:21 +0100
Subject: Good morning!
My greetings to you.
I have E-mailed you earlier a week ago and no response from you?
Once again, I am Mr. Marc Fernandez, from France. I work in the
department of Audit, as accounting manager.
I have an important business for you, which I would like to discuss
with you privately concern abandoned deposit here in my bank for 14
years now, since I noticed about the money. No one have ever come
forward to claim it for all this years And I am the only person who is
aware of the deposit. So, I need your assistance to stand in as a
Business Associate, and I will transfer the: $8. 500, 000.00, Eight
Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars, to your Country
without my bank to be aware and you will have a good reward, because I
will soon be permanently go for my retirement which is my reason of
contacting you to help me receive the money.
For your assistance after the transfer, you will have 40% of the total
money, while you will help me to invest my 60% into a good business in
I appreciate your quick response.
Mr. Marc Fernandez.