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:
- 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:
- "million pounds" (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)
- "is 100% risk free" (almost true for the criminal trying to scam you - arrests of online criminals are rare)
- "i will advice you " (this email uses bad English)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
- This email lists mobile phone numbers. Use of such numbers is typical for scams because they allow criminals to conceal their true location. They can receive calls in an Internet cafe from where they send you emails, while pretending to be in some office.
- +447045703210 (UK, redirects to a mobile phone in another country)
- 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.
- firstname.lastname@example.org (email address has been used in a known fraud before)
Fraud email example:
From: "loopy" (may be fake)
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 23:22:19 -0800
Compliment of the day to you my name is Garry Loopy finance manager Bank of Scotland,
i am contacting you to seek your partnership in a pending business project which i have
here in my hand and ready to be executed without hitches,i would give to you a more
detailed explanation of this project which i prefer to call a deal if i get your positive
response in agreeing to partner with me since this business is 100% risk free because i
have all the modalities fashioned out to give this business an excellent outcome. In an
attempt to throw light on this business deal,a month ago a Bahrain multinational company
opted an overdraft from our bank and it was over invoiced with an amount of Six Million
Pounds,thus i seek your partnership to enable me transfer this funds to your account for
both of us and i am open to negotiate your percentage so far you put in your utmost
attention and sincerity due to the nature of the business. Please if you are interested do
respond back to me via my private email: email@example.com so we can discuss
further on this.
I am indeed thankful for your email and your understanding in this mutual benefiting transaction which I assure you once more that you have nothing to worry about because I have all in place already only for you to play your role and please sincerity is required here because I am putting my trust in you and you know we have not met before so please do not let me down.
In an attempt to give you a more detailed explanation so you could understand how this will work,with your complete details I could retrieve the original details of the company in our file and replace it with yours to evidence the claims that you are the beneficiary to the funds and with my perfected modalities my bank will approve and release the funds in your name ready to be transferred to your offshore bank account.
Now the bank account that we can use for this transaction is not your normal account which I believe will be a normal commercial bank we can not make use of such bank no matter how much goes in and out but you know this is a huge transfer in just one transfer it will attract the international monetary body and your government will be interested in the case this is why I have fashioned out that we make use of private banks that offers SECRET Bank accounts and has a very high level of customers confidentiality and secrecy the only banks that has such service are Offshore Banks,and I already have figured out an Offshore Bank that you can set up an account with so that is not a problem I will advice you of the bank on your complete understanding of the process so you can open communication them and set up your account with them immediately.
Do get back to me on your understanding so we can move to the next stage in this mutual benefiting transaction,as I sincerely hope that we could build a lasting relationship since we have not met before and please I need you to assure me of your complete transparency in this project,attach here is my ID.