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.
- 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 (Gmail/GoogleMail; can be used from anywhere worldwide)
Fraud email example:
From: "Miss Lidana Williams" <email@example.com>
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2010 01:37:05 -1200
Subject: My Humble MSG
My name is Miss Lidana Williams a 19 years old girl, My mother died with her baby during delivery and my father Hon. Mr Felix Williams later died last year as he was poisoned by his family brother. My late father was a wealthy Gold and Diamond miner and on several government appointments, on that the $7.7 million Usd was legitimately earned and deposited with an international bank here, concerning the deposited $7.7 million usd, I am contacting to help for its investment in your country and I have the inheritance Will as the Rightful owner and every other deposit proves and papers.
I got your contacts and your profile during my desperate search for a foreign partner, I contacted you to seek for your partnership to assist me to move this money to your country for investments.
My questions are; (1) what will be your percentage for your noble assistance?? (2) Can you be of help to invest the money into Real Estate or Hotel management as soon as you received the funds? (3) Can it be possible for me to further studies in your country ?
Note that this is 100% legitimate and will forward every details and related deposit documents as soon as you write me.get back to me with this email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Lidana Williams.