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:
- "money laundering" ("anti-terrorist", "anti-money laundering" or "drug-free" certificates are a common way for criminals in fake lottery scams and other Advance Fee scams to get you to send money to them. There are no such certificates in the real banking world. )
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "WEBMAIL ADMIN TEAM"<firstname.lastname@example.org> (may be fake)
Date: Fri, 1 Jan 2010 20:10:32 +0800
Subject: Dear Webmail Account User.
Dear Webmail Account User,
This e-mail has been sent to you by the Webmail Admin to inform you that we were unable to verify your Reserve Account Details. The Admin Service/Customer care has a zero-tolerance policy towards SPAM e-mails/money laundering activities. Therefore, suspicious activities are monitored and reported immediately to the authorities. For safety reasons we have temporary blocked your Account untill you will complete secure our Verification Process by providing Some Information for Account Verification. If You Want your Account Not to be suspended Kindly Provide your Information and after Verification your Account will be Active Again:
* USER NAME :..............................
* PASSWORD: ..................................
Thank you for your understanding and please understand that our Verification Process is for safety purposes.
WEBMAIL ADMIN TEAM
Customer Care Centre.