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:
- "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)
- 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: Mrs Maria <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: Mon, 12 Oct 2009 16:54:42 +0200
Subject: Transfer of money to you
I am Mrs. Maria Bejes a dying woman have decided to Will/Donate the sum
10,300,000.00 for charities through you.for the good work of the Lord, and
to help the motherless,lessprivileged and widows. I decided that 30% of
this money should be taken by you from the total sum upon the success
release of this fund,If you ready to carry on this task reply to: email
My late husband gave alms to some organizations catering for the less privileged
in Bulgaria and Cyprus they refused and kept the resources to themselves.I have
informed my consultant about my decision in willing this fund to charity. I want him to make sure every
thing go well with the funds.Any delay in your reply will give me room in sourcing another person for
this same purpose
God bless you and your family.