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.
- 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: amou zouali <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Fri, 27 May 2022 19:03:33 +0000
I am pleased to inform you of my success in transferring these funds
in cooperation with a new partner from India. I am currently in India
due to investment projects with my own share of the total. In the
meantime, I have not forgotten your past efforts and attempts to help
me transfer those funds, even though we have somehow failed. Now
contact my secretary in Lome, Togo with his contact below, I dropped
the certified visa card to the ATM, ask him to send you a visa card to
the ATM in the amount of $ 250,000.00, which I left with him as
compensation for all past efforts and attempts to help me in this
matter. I really appreciated your efforts at the time.
So do not hesitate to contact my secretary and instruct him where to
send you an ATM visa card with the amount. Please let me know
immediately if you get it so that we can share the joy after all the
hardships of that time. I am very busy here at the moment because of
the investment projects that my new partner and I have at hand. and
forward your details, your full names, address and contact number for
easy communication until you receive your visa card at the ATM.