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:
- "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)
- "await your urgent response" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: Mark <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 6 Nov 2021 06:58:49 -0600
Subject: Attention: Beneficiary,
Please be informed that your long awaited compensation funds payment,
fifteen Million,Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars( $15.5M
Dollars only) has
finally been approved but it has also been brought to our notice that
a gentle man,named Micheal Hutapea has just forwarded a new bank
that,he is your next of kin and that you are dead. Now, here comes the
Did you authorize the above mentioned person to claim your funds? Are
you truly dead or alive? Is Michael Hutapea your next of kin? If no,
this information and get back to us with the below information for
verification as the wire will be done within 48hours from this notice:
We await your urgent response so that we can proceed with your payment.