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.
- 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:
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- "abuja" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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.Ogar Aaron" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2021 04:19:43 -0800
Subject: Dear Sir
I decided to first and foremost send this to you privately and
confidentially to circumvent certain 'Entrenched interests" that have
sat on your fund for so long now. You are one of the forensic audit
Report victims of illegal diversion of Millions of dollars from the
Petroleum Resources Ministry in Nigeria,which legitimately and legally
belong to foreign contractors and investors and their families.
Fortunately, a lot of the diverted funds have been recovered and
deposited in two of our banks in United States from where the victims
are being paid. Quickly Send to us via
<firstname.lastname@example.org > a reconfirmation of your
name, address,working telephone number and the method through which
you prefer to be paid your recovered payment.
Barr. Ogar Aaron
FOR: Chief Timipre Marlin Sylva
Minister of State for Petroleum Resources.