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.
Fraud email example:
From: "Mrs. Vivian Ong" (may be fake)
Date: Mon, 9 Nov 2009 16:32:26 -0800
Subject: Kind Regards,
I am Mrs. Vivian Ong, a staff of a security and safe deposit company in Singapore. I am in charge of Files and Records. Over the years I have discovered in record a particular safe deposit box which has remained dormant and unclaimed. Due to my past experience in a case such as these, I decided to engage the services of a private investigator to locate the owner but was informed after the investigation that the owner was a spy for the Chinese Government and has been confirmed dead.
This information, I do not want to pass unto my superiors for they will take possession of the money and all contents of the box for themselves, while I will be given peanut to keep my mouth shut as usual.
I came to these decisions in seeking the assistance of someone NEUTRAL to lay claim to these safe deposit box to enable me a better %.
I really do not know who to trust as my past experiences with my company has made me not to trust any one or talk about our company which is one of her standard procedures for securities.
I decided to contact you, even as I dont know you before but because it will be much safer for me.
I had secretly verified the content of the box, this action is a grave violation of the policy of this security company; however I discovered that there is Twenty Two Million Euros in cash as stated in records, some documents and a sealed envelop, which I suspect contains the pin numbers of a Swiss account. I will like us to go into a JV investment in your country with your company.
Please let me hear from you ASAP and I am sorry I cant share more than these, please respond,
This is my private email: (email@example.com)
Mrs. Vivian Ong