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)
- "million 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)
- "hundred thousand us 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: "Mr. Hassan Rouhani" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 29 Dec 2021 16:03:57 -0800
Subject: YOUR COOPERATION NEEDED
I hope this mail meet you in good health, I'm contacting you for a
transaction of USD$41.6, Million Dollars. You will be rewarded with
35% of the total sum for your partnership. Can you handle this? Your
assistance and support is needed to transfer the Fourth one Million
Six hundred Thousand US Dollars out of the Institution where I work,
to your bank account in your Country.
This is an abandon sum and it belongs to our late customer Mr. Heidi
Salf Al-Islam, a Libya oil tycoon who died with his family as result
of war in Libya on 31th of December 2010/2011. This fund was left
unclaimed in custody of the Firm for safe keeping and without a
The transaction has to be concluded as soon and as I confirm your
readiness to proceed with me, I will provide you with details.please
get back to me through this email (email@example.com)
My best regards,
Mr. Hassan Rouhani