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:
- 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 sir/madam" (a standard Nigerian greeting phrase)
- "million us 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.
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Mr Kadri Mehmet <email@example.com>
Date: Sun, 3 Oct 2021 01:36:50 -0700
Subject: Dear Sir/Madam,
I'm deeply sorry to berg into your privacy as we haven't met before, as a
matter of fact, I will be very brief since I'm in urgent need of a trust
person to help move out a valuable funds deposit by later Libyan leader
Muammar Gaddafi into a foreign bank account which will later be used for
any profitable joint investment between me and you, as a civil servant i
cannot do this alone, The Libyaâs sovereign wealth fund said five EU
countries paid out money from frozen accounts in Europe that once belonged
to Muammar Qaddafi despite international sanctions, according to POLITICO.
But no one are aware of this Total Amount is $19.5 Million us Dollars that
currently available under QNB Finansbank Turkey and placed in an ESCROW
CALL ACCOUNT without a beneficiary, it will be of advantage for me to
solicit for a foreigner on my behalf since the funds origin is from a
genuine source. Total Amount is $19.5 Million us Dollars.
For more details kindly indicate your willingness by responding via my
private email id below with your name for further information on how to
relocate this fund.
From Mr Kadri Mehmet