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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "million united states 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)
- This email message is a next of kin scam.
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: Ruben Agabus <email@example.com>
Date: Thu, 8 Sep 2022 22:36:48 +0100
Subject: Hello friend
Dear Friend, Good day ,
I hope this mail meets you well. I duly apologize if I am interfering
with your privacy if this request is not acceptable to you. My name is
Ruben Agabus. I am a Banker, I am contacting you because you share the
same last name with our client who died of Covid-19 with his wife and
his two sons in March (2020).The Bank has been on the outlook to
contact his next of kin without success hence I contacted you since
you shear same surname with our client. I want to present you as the
next of Kin / beneficiary for immediate payment of this fund.. As of
today my client's cash investment with
the Bank Stands at US$140 Million (One Hundred and Forty Million
United States Dollars ) Get back to me, if you are interested for more
information through my private email address below
(firstname.lastname@example.org) Opportunity comes but once