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 fake company names, fake addresses, non-existent institutions/documents or other details have appeared in scams before:
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "huge sum of money" (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)
- "million 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)
- "diplomatic immunity" ("diplomats" who perform deliveries of cash or other valuables to you only exist in 419 scams)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Sgt. James King" <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 13:09:27 -0700
Subject: URGENT NEED
Please if you cannot assist me i plead with you to maintain maximum
confidentiality of this classified information.
My Name is SGT JAMES KING From San Diego California.
I'm a member of united state Special forces unit 4 of the 2nd Infantry Military
Division. on our third special raid in an oil installation in region
of Damascus Syria last few Nights ago On advancing close to the rebel
positions, the rebels hurriedly vacated their military camp, taking
the few things they could lay their hands. As we tried to comb the
terrorist camp and check if there is any bomb ambush; the soldiers in
my Unit of command discovered a huge sum of money in US Dollar notes
and raw gold loaded in a metal box abandoned by the rebels. The total
cash money is 28.6 million US dollars. All valuables and money were
shared equal among us. We intend to keep and share the money within us
as compensation in the war. Meanwhile i have plan to move the funds
to you using the Red Cross courier jet which shuttles from Syria to
Uk daily. Then from Uk the money will be transferred to you
as Gold/precious stones using British diplomatic immunity. You shall
take 50% and keep 50% of the money for me until i come to meet you in
your country soon. Indicate your interest and servitude to my
Awaiting your urgent response.
Sgt. James King