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:
- "top secret" (scammers urge victims to keep the transaction secret because they don't want anyone to point out to them that it is a scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: samira ousmane <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 10 Dec 2021 22:31:57 +0100
Subject: Urgent Reply
I am a relative of a politically exposed person (PEP) that is in
financial regulation. Due to my present health condition, I'd decided
to write through this email for security reasons. Therefore, kindly
treat this as top secret for security reasons. I'd after fasting and
prayer choose to write not you particularly but I believe in the
probability of you being a confidant chosen by chance; luck to help
and share in this noble cause. I need your assistant to conduct secret
transfers of family's funds worth $18.5 millions Dollar. It was
deposited in the bank clandestinely.
I am in grave condition and because of the political situation my
families are into since, so i seek your help in transferring the fund
for our mutual benefit and i want to donate of some the fund to less
privilege and you will be rewarded with reasonable percentage of the
fund, if you can assist .Thanking you in advance.
Mrs Samira Ousmane