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:
- "claims agent" (real lotteries do not use a "claim agent" / "fiduciary agent")
- "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)
- ",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)
- "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.
- email@example.com (AOL; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr. Antoine Brulin" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2022 06:04:22 +0800
Subject: Chairman,COVID-19 Relief Foundation
This is to inform you that you have been randomly selected as one of
the beneficiaries of the Foundation COVID-19 Relief Fund which was set
up to help business owners and individuals during and after the
We try to reach you again, on this same EMAIL once more, as our
previous EMAIL to you returned undelivered. You are to receive the sum
of US$1,500,000.00 Million ( One Million Five hundred thousand United
State Dollars) Kindly send COVID-19 Donation Reference Number:
COVID-19/TQK41YT4SKL9 and File Number: T2J/0124/HVY to your claims
agent Mr James Hook.
To Begin Your Claim, Please Contact your assigned Claims Agent.
Contact Person Mr James Hook (By copy this email:email@example.com
and reply) Remember that all prizes must be claimed before the (26-07
2022). After this date all funds will be returned to the ministry of
ECONOMY Y HACIENDO as Unclaimed, Subsequently, late entry claims
attract a late entry fee.
Contact him with this email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Antoine Brulin
Chairman, COVID-19 Relief Foundation