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:
- "courier service" (Courier companies mentioned in 419 scams are always fake. They will have you send money to them, but won't deliver anything. )
- This email message is a "New Partner from Paraguay" scam.
- 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:
Date: Sat, 10 Apr 2010 01:46:01 +0000 (GMT)
Subject: APPRECIATION FOR YOUR EFFORT.
APPRECIATION FOR YOUR EFFORT.
How are you doing. Hope you have not forgotten me, I am Engr Gregory Nicholas.
the man from Africa who contacted you some time ago to assist me secure the
release of some money accrued from the over invoicing of a contract/inheritance
that was awarded by my government sometime ago during the military regime in my
country.Though you were not able to assist me conclude the transaction, I'm
happy to inform you about my success in getting those funds transferred Under
the assistance and cooperation a new partner from Brazil.
Presently I'm in Mexico for an investment projects with my own share of the
total sum.Meanwhile, i didn't forget your past efforts and attempts to assist me
transferring those funds, I made sure you are not left out the benefit of the
transaction hence I kept aside for you the sum of Two Hundred and Fifty Thousand
United States Dollars($ 250,000.00) draft and plus $200.00USD to send your Draft
via courier service to your door step.
I and my new partner agreed to compensate you with that amount for all your past
efforts and attempts to assist me in this matter. I appreciated your efforts at
that time very much,so feel free and get touch with my secretary Pastor Meeson
Keith. and instruct him on how to send the Bank draft to you. Please do let me
know immediately you receive the Draft so that we can share the joy together
after all the suffering at that time.
At the moment,I'm very busy here because of the investment projects which i and
my new partner are having at hand.Finally,remember that i had left instruction
to my secretary so as soon as you contact him, he will send the Draft to you,so
feel free to get in touch with MY SECRETARY NOW.
Below is the contact of my secretary:
Name: Pastor Meeson Keith.
Engr Gregory Nicholas.