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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "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)
- "i have a new email address!" (this SPAM email was sent to thousands of people)
- "central bank of nigeria" (the name of a person or institution often appearing in 419 scams)
- "lagos" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- 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 (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: =?iso-8859-1?q?drtony=20eden?= <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 24 Jul 2006 10:35:54 +0530 (IST)
Subject: AWAITING YOUR URGENT RESPONCE
I have a new email address!You can now email me at: email@example.com
- CENTRAL BANK OF NIGERIA,TREASURY DEPT OF C.B.N TINUBU SQUARE, VICTORIA ISLAND, LAGOS-NIGERIA ATTN: HONORABLE CONTRACTOR Dear Sir,Sequel to the secretive arrangement in regards of the Shipment of your contract sum, part payment of Fifteen Million United States Dollars (US$15,000,000.00), I wish to inform you that all necessary modalities have been automatically concluded and have left C.B.N office to the Courier Services today by Express Cargo Flight. Note carefully the content of the crate is