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:
- 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:
- ",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)
- "00,000.00" (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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2022 12:07:22 +0200
Subject: my subject
Congratulations from the Azim Premji Philanthropies Foundation-India, where=
life changing opportunities and cash are given-out on a daily basis! Due t=
o the outbreak of the Pandemic corona Virus However, We are pleased to info=
rm you that you are one (1) of the lucky people to benefit and receive $1,0=
00,000.00USD from our foundation's ongoing goodwill to help start over and =
make good use of it to help your family and community
Is this message sent to a valid e-mail account? Your email account was rand=
omly selected to receive a cash donation of $1,000,000.00USD from the Phila=
nthropist. If this is a valid e-mail account, then click reply to contact u=
s directly for comprehensive information. For more details visit (https://e=
n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azim_Premji ) or Google Azim Premji. Contact : azimfou=