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.
- The following phrases in this message should put you on alert:
- "million us dollars" (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)
- "you will be entitled to 30%" (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)
- "abidjan" (a location commonly mentioned in 419 scams)
- "firstname.lastname@example.org" (this email address has been used in a known scam)
- This email message is a 419 scam. Please see our 419 FAQ for more details on such scams.
Fraud email example:
From: "Jarvis Reeves Jr" (may be fake)
Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 04:48:41 -0600
Subject: PLEASE THIS PROJECT IS WITHOUT RISK
PROJECT WITHOUT RISK
I am Engr. Jarvis Reeves Jr, the contract review Manager with Shell Oil Engineering unit here in Sao Tome and Principe an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea, where a drilling project is being executed by shell.
I and my colleague, the project accountant have need for a trusted partner for an urgent financial transaction, we have a floating $25.5 million US dollars already with a local bank in Abidjan Cote d' Ivoire ready to be moved out of the country because of the recent contract award investigation going on in shell here in Sao tome.
The fund is proceeds from over invoiced contracts awarded to shell contractors for the supply of oil drilling equipments The local bank is making arrangements to move the fund to their correspondence bank in the U.S.A or Europe but needs a beneficiary's information to prepare the transfer documents hence this letter.
This project is without any risk to both parties as our contact in the bank will be there to cooperate and supply necessary information regarding the transfer to the beneficiary for the success of the transaction.
The project accountant will supply the bank with all necessary contract payment documents in your favor if you are interested to work with us.
If we have your consent on your readiness to work with us, you will be entitled to 30% of the total sum to your self, you will be totally in control of the project as we will formally introduce you to the bank in the payment introductory letter as the contractor for you to have full access to information as we do not have communication where we work except by mail.
If interested you will be required to send in your personal and account information to be submitted to the bank for transfer programming
Expecting your response soonest
ENGR. JARVIS REEVES JR
REPLY VIA THIS E-MAIL ADDRESS: email@example.com