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 friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "hundred thousand u.s 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.
- email@example.com (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "Rev.Francis Bernard" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 10 Nov 2021 17:46:18 +0100
I am contact you about the information gave to me by Mrs.Angela Lee,
to getting the fund out of the bank with the help of a staff working
in the remittance office and also with the special assistance of a
French business woman that catered for other logistics.
However, she left the sum of $500,000 (Five hundred Thousand U.S
Dollars Only) in an ATM cash withdrawal Card. This $500,000 is for
you, and it is purposely for your compensation for your little effort
in this transaction. The ATM Card is a global payment card which is
acceptable, workable and usable worldwide in making daily withdrawal
of money from any ATM location. So you can be able to make withdrawals
of money in any countries on daily basis.$6000 per day, The ATM card
is in your name and the pin number will be in the envelope
She would have sent the ATM card to your address by herself, but sick
can't do that, For your good, she left the ATM card with me, I
Reverend Father Francis Bernard, Here is my email address
(email@example.com) as soon as I hear from you I will
move to any posting company and post the item to you,
Name: Rev.Francis Bernard,