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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "barr." (Barristers (lawyers) mentioned in 419 scams are always fake.)
- 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: Charles Anthony <email@example.com>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2021 15:12:14 +0000
Subject: My dear friend
My dear friend,
How are you today? I understand you may not remember me again, Iâm
Barr. Charles Anthony I contacted you previously about a business
transaction, don't know if you will remember. Actually, you agreed to
help me then but later opted out. Well I was able to successfully
transfer the funds to another business partner that helped me. At the
same time, I want to use this opportunity to say that I did not forget
your past effort and attempts to assist me then, now I'm happy to
inform you that i have succeeded in getting those funds transferred
under the cooperation of a new partner from Maryland United States.
I have decided to compensate you with the sum of $100,000 ( hundred
thousand) dollars for all your efforts and attempt to help me then.
Now Contact my personal secretary Mrs. Elizabeth Williams and ask her
to send you the sum of ($100,000 Dollars) which I left with her for
your compensation for your past effort and attempt to help me then.
The US$100,000 was loaded inside ATM VISA CARD as I instructed my
banker before given it to my secretary for the security and safety of
the money. Kindly take note that once you receive the ATM VISA CARD
you will be able to withdraw the money in any ATM machine in your
Contact my secretary immediately and resend your correct address to
her and direct her on how she will send your ATM VISA CARD to you. Her
contact as stated below
NAME: Mrs. Elizabeth Williams