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:
- "dear friend" (a common phrase found in 419 scams)
- "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)
- ",000,000" (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)
- "urgent assistance" (scammers rush victims so they don't have time to think properly)
- "my names are " (a common phrase found 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: "Igor Shuvalov" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Wed, 05 Apr 2023 05:53:32 -0500
Subject: I AM STILL WAITING FOR YOUR EMAIL
My names are Igor Shuvalov, a citizen of Russia and a businessman.
I need your urgent assistance to secure and re-profile my existing
business investment funds valued at $950,000,000.00
(Nine hundred and fifty million US dollars) currently secured in the
Netherlands and Spain..
Since the current war and senseless invasion of Ukraine by our
president Vladimir Putin, most of the prominent Russian Oligarchs and
business assets outside Russia have been blacklisted and seized by the
western governments in retaliation over this ongoing war.
Most innocent Russian business owners and assets in foreign banks have
been targeted in the past few days and many more are expected to go
down the list without any explanations just because most of us are in
one way related to some of these oligarchs or have business ties.
Click on this link below for further clarifications and confirmations:
I have therefore been advised by my trusted insider and Financial
Consultants in the Spain and Netherland, to hasten up and nominate a
beneficiary before the next few days to avoid seizure and loss of my
investment funds over there by the authorities due to the on going
Russia-Ukraine War Financial clampdown.
I therefore urgently seek the assistance of a foreigner who can take
over all my assets and funds and possibly reinvest the same using your
name and company as the new owner so that all my years as a business
owner will not be wasted or be in vain.
I am ready to offer a good and reasonable percentage between both of
us once we agree to move forward as partners going forward.
My team and Financial consultants will professionally guide and handle
all paperwork and legal documentations for a smooth and hitch free
funds transfer and takeover of the assets into your care.
Attached to this email is my international passport for your records
and to let you know my level of seriousness and trust.
Please Keep all our communications and email exchanges secret and
confidential as we sincerely pray for the urgent end to this senseless
WAR and PEACE to Ukraine.
I await your response.