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.
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- 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 (Citromail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Mr.Michael Marek" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Sep 2022 16:26:54 +0100
Subject: Subject: After several attempts to reach you.
Subject: After several attempts to reach you.
After several attempts to reach you, it is my pleasure to inform you that
the sum of ($950,000) Nine hundred and fifty thousand United States
Dollars has just been transferred to our corresponding bank in your country
for immediate payment to you.
The paying bank is now waiting for you to contact them with the back up
legal documents for the said fund transfer so that they will remit your
fund into your bank account. So you are advised to forward your full name,
contact address and telephone to our Protocol officer in the Republic of
Benin,to enable him to send to you the back up legal documents for the
already transferred fund which you will be submitting to the paying bank to
enable them release your fund to you.
You can reach the protocol officer Mr.Hartmut Muller through the following
email (firstname.lastname@example.org) telephone number +22969354808
Base on the above information, take note that you will be responsible for
the payment of â¬155 euro for the delivery of your fund transfer legal
So you are advised then to cooperate with â¬155 euro so that your fund
transfer legal documents can be sent to you.
That will be all and thank you for your maximum co-operation.