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:
- "i will like you to " (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "a security company " (this will cost you money - be careful with upfront payments to anyone you only know through email, especially if they promise you a lot of money. NEVER send money by Western Union or MoneyGram to people you do not know personally - NO EXCEPTIONS! Instant wire transfer services are not meant to be used with strangers because they offer no protection against fraud. That is precisely why the criminals want you send money that way. )
- ",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)
- "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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Aleksandr Kovalenko" (may be fake)
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2022 12:10:53 -0700
Subject: How Are You And Your Family Today?
How are you today? I Hope you are staying safe,
I am Mr Aleksandr Kovalenko from Ukraine, and I am an investor and real estate developer. I am looking for a possible tie-up with a business or individual in your country so that I can do some investments there as my country's economy has been ravaged by the Russian invasion which no one knows when it will come to an end.
I have Ten Million five Hundred Thousand Dollars.($10,500,000.00 ) to invest in any good business in your country.
My family Wife and Daughter have crossed to Poland for refugee, I am still in my country Ukraine as they do not allow men to cross the border, we were asked to stay back and defend my country,
I have move the funds to Poland through a help of a Security Company from Ukraine, please I will like you to receive this Fund and invest it in a good business and thereafter you take my Wife and Daughter out from Poland to your country and take good care of them as am in a war zone which I don't know when this war will end, most importantly I want you to take good care of my family.
There are no economic activities going on again in Ukraine since the Russian invasion started. Looking forward to your sincere reply.
Mr Aleksandr Kovalenko