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 united state 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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- ",500,000" (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)
- "united state dollar" (this email uses bad English)
- 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.TONY WOOD " <email@example.com>
Date: Tue, 28 Dec 2021 09:04:52 +0100
Subject: Hello Dear
I AM SORRY,BUT TO TELL YOUR ABOUT MY SUCCESSES GETTING THE FUND
REMITTED THROUGH A CO-OPERATION OF NEW BUSINESS PARTNER FROM
U-EMIRATES I TRIED MY POSSIBLE BEST TO INVOLVES YOU'RE IN GOLD AND
DIAMOND BUSINESS,ALMIGHTY DECIDED WHOLE CONDITIONS I AM PRESENTLY IN
BANGLADESH FOR PROJECT/INVESTMENTS WITH MY OWNER PERCENTAGE SHARE OF
I DON'T FORGET YOU PAST ATTEMPTS/EFFORT FOR ASSISTS ME IN REMITTANCE
OF THE FUND DESPITE THAT IT'S FAILED US THAT PERIOD TIME
YOU SHOULD CONTACT MY SECRETARY IN BURKINA FASO
TELL/ADVICE HIM TO SEND YOUR ATM VISA CARD OF (USD $2,500,000) I KEPT
FOR YOUR COMPENSATIONS IN ALL PAST ATTEMPTS/EFFORT YOUR MADE FOR
ASSISTE ME IN PAST I SO MUCH APPRECIATED YOUR ASSIST/EFFORT DURING THE
PERIOD TIME SO FEEL FREE GET IN TOUCH WITH MY SECRETARY HIS NAME
MR.JOHNSON WOOD INSTRUCTS HIM WHERE TO SEND THE ATM VISA CARD WORTH OF
(USD $2,500,000) TO YOU,
THIS AMOUNT IS ME AND MY NEW PARTNER CONTRIBUTED IT TO OFFERED YOUR
AMOUNT (USD $1,500,000) IS FROM MY OWN PERCENTAGE SHARE THEN MY NEW
PARTNER OFFERED YOUR (USD $1,000,000) FROM HIS OWN PERCENTAGE SHARE
BECAUSE I EXPLAINED EVERYTHING TO HIM THAT YOUR ARE FIRST PERSON I
CONTACTED WHO ASSISTING ME BUT YOUR COULDN'T MAKE IT HE SAYS OKAY
THERE'S NO PROBLEM
NOW YOUR SHOULD KEEP EVERYTHING SECRET/CONFIDENTIAL FOR MY
SUCCESSFULLY BECAUSE I KNOW THAT IT WAS YOUR ONLY KNEW HOW I MADE THIS
MONEY IN LIFE SO KEPT EVERYTHING SECRET/CONFIDENTIAL, I HOPE YOUR
UNDERSTOOD REASON WHY THIS BIG AMOUNT OF MONEY WAS KEPT FOR YOUR??
PLEASE DU INFORM ME IMMEDIATELY YOU RECEIVED THE ATM VISA CARD SUM OF
(USD $2,500,000) SO THAT WE WILL SHARE OUR JOYS AFTER ALL SUFFERING AT
PAST TIME PERIOD AM VERY HERE BECAUSE I AND MY NEW PARTNER HAVING BIG
INVESTMENT PROJECTS AT HANDS NOW
YOUR SHOULD REMEMBERED THAT I HAVE FORWARD INSTRUCTIONS TO THE
SECRETARY ON YOUR BEHALF TO SEND SEND THE ATM VISA CARD TO YOU
IMMEDIATELY ,FEEL FREE TO CONTACT THE SECRETARY SO THAT HE WILL SEND
THE ATM VISA CARD OF TWO MILLION FIVE-HUNDRED THOUSAND UNITED STATE
DOLLARS (USD $2,500,000) TO YOU IMMEDIATELY WITHOUT WEST ANY TIME .